School of the Nations’ Collaborates with Sister School, Escola Masrour, in Manaus
Over the years, School of the Nations and Escola Masrour in Manaus have collaborated as sister schools to exchange information, knowledge, and know-how to promote our shared educational goals. Escola Masrour has existed for 24 years and School of the Nations for 38. Though we are two distinct educational institutions, our vision of education is similar. Our ideals are based on Baha'i-inspired principles of holistic education and on values such as eliminating extreme forms of poverty and wealth; universal education; equality of rights and opportunities among men and women; unity in diversity; and eliminating all types of prejudice such as that related to ethnicity, religion, nationality, and gender.
Escola Masrour is located in a densely populated area known as Zona Leste in Manaus. Today Escola Masrour serves 400 children and adolescents. The Associação para o Desenvolvimento Coesivo da Amazônia (ADCAM), the institution that manages Escola Masrour, is located in the neighborhood of Zumbi dos Palmares, which, like many other districts in this area, faces many problems with infrastructure, social inequality, and a lack of security. Many consider the physical environment of Escola Masrour an oasis in the midst of an inhospitable urban landscape.
Over the past year, School of the Nations has been serving as an educational consultancy group to provide pedagogical coaching and teacher training at Escola Masrour. School of the Nations has been developing extension courses for teacher growth and development as educators. Our project is called UNAtions and involves teachers creating courses for other teachers and modeling how to use research-based practices in their classrooms. The courses, which range in length from 8 to 24 hours, can be customized to meet the specific needs of the educational practitioners who take part in them.
Recently, two highly accomplished Early Childhood teachers from School of the Nations visited Manaus to train teachers in the preschool program of Escola Masrour. We will continue this training to prepare teachers to use multisensory and hands-on teaching methods and to make better use of local materials and resources. We are sharing strategies that will enable educators at Escola Masrour to develop strong educational programs and effective learning environments.
As School of the Nations’ teachers and staff members interact with their colleagues from Escola Masrour, they also learn a great deal from them.
Through our sister school project, collegial friendships, exchanges, and professional development, we will continue to further our vision and mission of helping young people develop outstanding academic, ethical and spiritual qualities, a clear understanding of their roles in building a better world, and their capacities to know, love and serve humankind.