Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Patrick Makokoro From Zimbabwe by Mike Prochaska
The Nhaka Foundation believes every child deserves an education, yet for many in Zimbabwe it’s more of a privilege than a right. The barriers are great, and the resources are few. With the support of its partners and in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Health, Nhaka Foundation works to reduce the challenges facing the children, their families and their communities.
Q. How did you get into this field?
“I have been working in this field for the past eight years and it was a progression from my previous job, which was to provide educational assistance to orphans and vulnerable children. I then decided to focus more on the earlier years, hence my involvement with the 3 -6-year-old age group.”
Q. What do you see as the advantages of having male teachers?
“Male teachers bring a balance into the classroom which helps support pedagogical advancements … Male teachers bring in a different dynamic to the classroom environment. Having male teachers in the classroom also helps break stereotypical barriers to early childhood development.”
Q. What’s your favorite memory working with kids?
“My favorite memory working with kids is when four years ago we began distributing a new curriculum in classrooms and it was such a delight for children coming in from low-resource settings to receive some playing and learning material that was exquisitely packaged. The priceless faces and sounds made as the children explored are such a fond memory … Our organization supported over 30 schools.”
Q. Anything else you want to tell us about working with young children?
“Working with young children is an honor and privilege because what we teach them and say to them almost becomes indelible in their little hearts. Thus, it is very heartwarming to be able to provide the foundational education for young children which leaves lasting impressions for the rest of their lives.”