Skilled teachers are the cornerstone of effective education. In many African countries, teachers in rural areas enter the profession with almost no specific training on how to teach children to read. These young educators begin their careers with minimal classroom management skills, little knowledge of curriculum development and few opportunities for improving their skills. This results in poor student performance and high dropout rates, especially among girls. By investing in training, a lasting impact on student performance can be made.
Each year in both group and one-on-one settings, we plan to provide dynamic, interactive training for teachers in rural schools throughout the villages we serve. Each teacher in our program will receives six intensive training sessions per year. In partnership with other literacy NGOs, we will also be piloting a student teacher training program for young indigenous men and women from remote villages who grew up in extreme poverty to study to become teachers when they return to their communities.
Our training sessions will be conducted by expert literacy staff that live in the areas they work and know the children and teachers intimately. In group and classroom-based sessions, we will focus on giving teachers specific instructional techniques that engages children. We will also work closely with all teachers in our program to help them create and implement effective reading and writing activities that improve comprehension, retention and critical thinking skills for their students. We believe that this type of training and support increases the teachers’ confidence, makes their teaching more enjoyable, and helps them become more successful educators. For most of the teachers in our program, these approaches are not only new, they are revolutionary. The impact in the classroom can and will be seen immediately.
With proper training, our teachers will be able to engage thousands of children in classroom and library-based literacy activities. These activities will be year-round and culturally appropriate for the village settings where we work. In classrooms, the activities will include literacy development techniques based on best practices. In libraries and during school vacations, there will be book lending and school-break reading programs.
With your support, as our program spreads, each community’s capacity to speak up for better educational support will also increase.