“My parents almost sent me to another school because my grades were bad. But when the teaching methods in Renzi Primary School improved, I passed my exams and was among the top five students in my class”, Bhakita, 13, shares.
Bhakita’s school in Tambura, a county in South Sudan, was among the schools that benefited from the Teachers’ In-Service Training, a professional training program offered to teachers while they teach and is usually done during school holidays. It takes four years instead of three, longer by a year from the normal training.
Fifty-two teachers in Tambura County have qualified for the in-service training for the past three years now. William Yanedi, the deputy head teacher, was among them. He said that after going through the training, he was able to plan his school work well and improve his lesson plans.
The teachers now use the learner-centered techniques which give pupils the chance to participate fully compared to the traditional teacher-centered teaching methods. Bhakita have appreciated the difference and expressed that she performed very well because the way of teaching has improved.
She wants to become a teacher in future and inspire girls like her in the community to go to school. Amanio Molly, an English teacher is also the only woman in the teaching staff is one of the teachers that Bhakita sees as a role model. “I can properly read and write now because most times she shares with us the books given to them during the training and we read at home during weekends”, Bhakita says.
Most teachers in Tambura schools are primary school dropouts and unqualified for the job. This affects the quality of education given to pupils. World Vision, through the support of Japan Platform and Unlock Literacy Korea, initiated this training for teachers in partnership with Solidarity International.
The trained teachers do a peer-support coaching and mentoring for fellow teachers who were not able to attend the training. Ustaz further said that it made a big impact on the pupils increasing the progress to 83% since the methods have changed. He adds, “I believe in the next five years, Tambura will produce best performing pupils in the country with the teachers now well equipped.”
“We were taught how to make charts on human body parts or animals, for example, and pin them on the wall for the pupils to easily understand. It is working because it is more practical”, Molly adds. Teachers have become more engaged as they are able to answer questions pupils now ask questions in class during lessons as a result of the training.
Molly says, “The training has greatly improved not only us but also the pupils. We now use the instructional materials and new methods using the learning aids provided by World Vision. I thank World Vision’s team in Tambura for their great work. We hope to see this training shared with other states to more trained teachers and improve the educational system in South Sudan.”
Frank Lomoro, World Vision Education Technical Advisor said supporting the 52 teachers to complete the 4-year training is crucial in achieving the goal of the project in improving education in the country. The must also share new skills with fellow teachers.
Story and photos by Scovia Faida Charles Duku, Communications Officer