Teachers are key to the success of any education system. In places that have been deeply affected by poverty and conflict for generations, finding someone who has both the qualifications and the training to be a teacher is a challenge. Many communities are happy to find anyone who has completed secondary school to act as a teacher.
Teachers that are not well trained cannot provide quality education. Their students struggle to learn and achieve even basic literacy and numeracy. Consequently, many students drop out of school and others finish without being able to read or write properly.
All teachers need training and ongoing professional support. Teachers whose original training has been compromised by disruption of their own education need it more than ever. The chance to complete official teacher training, or use continuing training to upgrade their skills, are vital opportunities in these circumstances. This, combined with motivation and recognition of the important role that teachers play, can build the foundation for a functioning education system.
We train teachers so that they are knowledgeable in their subject areas and have the skills to share that knowledge with their students. The teachers we work with are already in service so we help create training programmes that fit in with their teaching schedules. This can mean offering long distance education or short intensive classes. To make training comprehensive, we also offer practical lesson kits and ongoing mentorship with trained teachers who visit schools and offer one to one support.
Our training covers everything from lesson content to teaching methodology. We have written lessons for teachers in a wide variety of local languages. We have helped them support girls’ education and education for people living with disabilities, and address social issues such as peacebuilding and children’s rights through their lessons. We help teachers offer more student-centred learning, moving away from rote learning, and instead helping students learn how to apply knowledge.
AET’s Quality in Secondary Education (QISE) project addresses the huge shortage of untrained secondary school teachers in South Sudan through utilizing distance learning to provide in-service teacher training. QISE enables teachers from remote schools study for a fully accredited Diploma in Secondary Teaching while continuing to teach in their schools by combining a range of instructional approaches from printed self-study materials to face-to-face tutorials and peer support. Now in its third phase, AET is partnering with the Catholic University of South Sudan to develop the first Diploma in Secondary Education administered and accredited by a South Sudanese University, enabling 120 secondary school teachers attain a teaching Diploma and providing South Sudan with a training approach that meets the professional development needs of the secondary education system.
We also run professional development courses in all of the countries where we work, in subjects ranging from English language training to child protection.
Many teachers where we work understand the struggles faced by their students – they had similar challenges in accessing education. Teacher training helps them give their students a better chance in school and in life.