Beyond the workshops
A highlight is the opportunity to see the teachers putting into practice what they have learned in the workshops.
One of the highlights of being involved in our programmes is the opportunity to visit the teachers who come to our workshops in their own schools and to watch them teach. They are full of confidence in front of the children in their class who in turn are polite and deferential, even though there may be a couple sleeping at the back. However, in truth these teachers need help with putting into practice many of the things they have learned. Using materials in the way that was modelled in the workshops is not something they are familiar with. So having someone encourage them and help them in their own environment makes a huge difference to their confidence and brings out those beautiful smiles. It is then a delight to see even the sleeping children participate! We have been looking for a better way to get around to more schools and to get the more able teachers to work with those with less understanding. In May, Kate and I attended a conference organised by BETT (Basic Education and Teacher Training). BETT has been a joint initiative between MoEYS (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport) and the Belgian Technical Co-operation, an implementing agency of development projects for the Belgian Government. The BETT programme began in 2003 and will be closing down on 30th June this year. It had a budget of 17.7 million Euros of which MoEYS was to spend 24% and was a giant programme in the field of education that will be sorely missed by many. The aim of the conference was to share lessons learned and to appeal to other organisations to continue to work with the people BETT has trained and the materials BETT has developed. The teacher training approach used by SeeBeyondBorders happens to closely align with the BETT methodology and we can readily adopt the BETT materials into our programmes. We were already working with VSO* on developing a programme in Ratanakiri and through discussions with BETT and with VSO, have developed a pilot programme to target specific teachers and develop them, initially as mentors. Ultimately we aim to extend the training so that with our partners we can maintain our own focused In-school support programme. We are trialling the mentoring training in October. Call us if you want to know more. * “VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries”
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