Young Teachers are the future of professions
Humana People to People salute teachers who continue daily to discharge their professional duties under difficult conditions in most of the least developed countries. On this World Teachers’ Day, Humana People to People joins the rest of the world to thank teachers and to call for more, better trained and supported teachers.
In 2019, the World Teachers Day is being marked under the theme Young Teachers: The Future of the Professions. The future success of children, young people and the societies in which they live depend on schools and the teachers. Teachers hold the keys to a better future for all.
Nothing can replace a good teacher. Evidence shows that teachers, their professional knowledge and skills are the most important factor for quality education. This requires stronger training upfront and continual professional development and support, to strengthen performance and learning outcomes. Yet, far too often, a teacher remain under-qualified and poorly paid, with low status, and excluded from education policy matters and decisions that concern and affect them.
Teachers inspire, challenge, empower, innovate and help to nurture responsible global citizens. They get children into school, keep them there and help them learn. Every day, they help to build the inclusive knowledge societies we need for tomorrow and the century ahead. Teachers are a key ingredient in the attainment of the many transformations set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The international education community has pledged to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030 as part of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). However, about 258.4 million children and youth are out of school, according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics of 2018 data. In October 2016, UNESCO developed global projections of the number of teachers needed to achieve the goal. The estimations indicated that by 2030, countries must recruit a total of 68.8 million teachers: 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers. Clearly, SDG 4 demands a seismic shift in the provision of quality of education and trained teachers.
Humana People to People took a decision to invest in training primary school teachers, in early 1990ies, after taking note of the high illiteracy levels affecting by then several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thus the first decision to partner with the national government of Mozambique saw the implementation of the first Teacher Training College. The success of the teacher training model, gave birth to an expansion of the colleges now present in Angola, Congo D.R., Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Zambia and as far as India. Counting from the beginning, more than 42,000 primary school teachers have been trained as qualified teachers at 53 teacher training colleges being run by members of Humana People to People.
The objective of the teacher training colleges is to develop a special teacher, one uniquely qualified to become an agent of change in a local school and the larger community. The challenges of teaching primary grades in Africa and India are many fold, particularly in rural areas. There are often minimal resources upon which to rely and large numbers of students per classroom. A resourceful teacher becomes effective in devising child-centered teaching approaches which help to trigger children’s interest in the learning process.
Humana People to People teacher training programme helps students to take responsibility for their education and supports them in achieving their goals. Along with standard pedagogical topics, the curriculum includes life skills training and the development of 21st century skills; critical thinking, collaborative working skills, and the ability to utilize information and communications technology. The aim is to nurture teachers, who are readily equipped to increase learning, bring about change, and foster widespread development.
Hands-on training is also a core component of the programme, and student teachers obtain teaching practice in local schools from the very start. Each of the colleges make arrangements with between five to nine nearby primary schools to provide training classrooms for the student teachers.
No matter where it is implemented, the Humana People to People teacher training curriculum is adapted to meet a country’s educational requirements and its national standards of teacher training.