We are excited and pleased to announce an exciting new volunteering initiative in Livingstone - a Teaching and Education Exchange, which will be an exclusive project geared towards qualified teachers from all over the world. Here, Livingstone staff members Alex and Vicky explain why experienced and knowledgeable teachers are needed in local communities to empower and enrich existing Zambian teachers who are all too often lack the resources to adequately teach overcrowded classrooms. African Impact has always worked closely with the District Education Board and Community Schools in Livingstone since we began our volunteer programs here in 2006. As Project Manager and Volunteer Coordinator we have been lucky to be a part of these relationships and see what amazing work they do with so little.
It is estimated that 75% of all schools in Zambia are Community Schools. This means that the schools receive little or no funding from the government with some teachers even being untrained and unpaid. Class sizes can easily be 40+ students and often the schools operate a hot seating system, where some grades go to school in the morning and some in the afternoon. You can imagine the impact all these aspects have on a child’s education. Seeing first-hand the challenges these schools and teachers face and how easy it is for a child to fall behind in their schooling found us wondering how we could make a sustainable difference to education and this was how the idea for our new project was born. Teachers here have a strong desire to improve the standard of education that they are delivering but with limited resources and limited access to any ongoing training at their disposal, this is a challenge that is difficult to overcome. The Teaching and Education Exchange Program is a new initiative we have developed and one we are very excited about. It will allow volunteers to help spearhead change and development in schools in Livingstone. The program is designed for qualified teachers with a desire to share and impart their skills and expertise to Zambian teachers. Volunteers will initially have the opportunity to work alongside local teachers, allowing them to develop an understanding of the challenges of teaching in Zambia. Once volunteers and the school have agreed on topics to cover (which could include: teaching with limited resources, behaviour management, breaking down different parts of the Zambian curriculum or even just sharing ideas) then the hard work of developing and delivering the workshops begins. Volunteers will take ownerships of the development of these workshops and as it is the first time the project will run they will also have the opportunity to shape the way this project runs in the future. As well as being involved in a new project, the volunteers will get a chance to really immerse themselves in Zambian culture and take this back to their own countries to teach in their schools.
Our goal is to make sustainable change that will really have a long lasting impact for both teachers and students by inspiring teachers to take a more interactive approach to the teaching of children in Zambia, therefore improving the level of education the children receive. As the great man said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. The aim is to change the children of Livingstone’s world and give them the opportunities which they deserve. Are you a recently qualified teacher looking for working experience? Or a teacher on holiday or newly retired? This project was practically made for you! This is a special project being offered over a 4 week period, beginning on the 28th of July, 2014. There are a limited number of spaces so to ensure a volunteer spot, enquire as soon as possible!