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.
We are currently offering accredited diploma level training to 60 secondary school teachers in South Sudan. On completion of our two year training course, participants receive a Certificate in Secondary Teacher Education, which enables them to continue with Diploma level courses in subjects such as English, Mathematics, Geography and Commerce. The full training course includes intensive residential courses, fortnightly tutorials, in-school mentoring and self-study materials culminating in accreditation, which motivates teachers to continue their educational career.
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.