When the teacher asks you whether you are happy
Has any teacher asked you a question like that? Probably never ever! You need to meet Jackson Kivuyirwa from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. It is something like his morning ritual to ask the students a simple question.
Standing in front of the board he has a long and warm look around. And his eyes are shining when he lively shouts: “Good morning everybody; are you happy?” Quiet a lot of the girls and boys of the Majengo Institute seems to be. They respond enthusiastically. Former students and the parents agree that this secondary school in the Eastern part of the country is a very good one. Of course they have a reason for their statement. The teachers for more than 1200 students are not only ambitious but inspiring. “They were demanding but helped me to live my dream,” explains Belamy Paluku, head of the cultural department of the Maison des Jeunes, Goma.
But not everybody is happy this morning. Some are just too traumatized yet. They need help but they come to school. The Majengo Institute has employed two counselors to care about mental problems. Beside that the students themselves organized self-help groups to support their school mates.
Daniel K. Nzughundi is the engine of the school. The principal survived three wars in his country and the volcano eruption of the Nyiragongo in 2012. He remained and rebuilt. When Nzughundi was threatened by militiamen to supply students as child soldiers he refused and he survived. Nzughundi works hard, believes strongly and fights boldly. Maybe that’s the foundation for a teacher to ask their students again the next morning:”Good morning everybody! Are you happy?”