Teacher Spotlight: Mrs Stella Asingo

Asingo Stella

Mrs Asingo is a geography teacher and school counselor at Rapha Girls Secondary School, in Lira, Northern Uganda. She is also a partner teacher for Yiya! Initially Mrs Asingo was hesitant about joining the Yiya program as her background is in the humanities and not math or science. But after hearing about some of the lessons from students who were participating in the program, she decided to stop by and visit a lesson, and she has been part of the Yiya program ever since!

Although many of the concepts introduced in the Yiya program, such as resistors and capacitors, were initially foreign to her, Mrs Asingo said she learned quickly because of how the Yiya teaching methodology makes even complex physics topics simple and easy to understand. She says a big benefit of the program is that you don’t just sit down to learn a specific concept, but instead you use that concept to create a new technology that helps solve a community problem! This is how she learn how to make bicycle-powered phone chargers and the cost-effective greenhouse prototype.

Mrs Asingo says that being part of the Yiya program makes her feel a step ahead of the other teachers at her school who are not participating in the Yiya program, because she now knows how to make real things that can be used in real life, and help other members in her community. In addition, she says she really values the teaching methodology that Yiya helps teachers to practice during workshops and in the Yiya lessons. She has used these new teaching strategies in her own non-Yiya lessons and has been so excited to see students respond very positively!

When asked whether she feels the program has impacted students’ academics performance, she says

“Yes, it has helped them, especially the weak ones who didn’t like science subjects, for example physics, and through this they are now in love with the science subjects because they are finding the things easy and can now easily relate what they learn from the [Yiya] program to what is being taught to them in class”.

Often in class, she will hear Yiya girls talking to students who are not in the Yiya program, and explaining to them about how a very complicated topic that was in the previous week’s lecture actually makes much more sense after they have done that week’s Yiya activity using that topic. The girls then take time to explain the topic to students who were not part of the Yiya lesson, which also has improved their self-confidence, especially in science subjects.