News: Training Teachers in Atabae

Anne's English class
Milennium Development Goal (MDG) 8 is to develop a global partnership for development. Here, Anne Chapman highlights how Palms Volunteers and partners bring together the efforts of small (FPET), medium (SOLS) and massive (World Vision) NGOs locally to ensure positive outcomes are achieved.

Congratulations to Maria, Jonh and Afonso for being appointed to the position of assistant teachers. These outstanding young adults presented their CVs and then were interviewed on March 16. It was intended that two would be appointed but with three equally skilled applicants all with external responsibilities, it was recommended that all three be appointed on a part time basis.

Jonh and Afonso studied at SOLS (Science of Life School) last year with FPET (Friends and Partners with East Timor) support and then initiated English language courses in Atabae in January of this year for the Youth. Together they currently teach eight x 2 hour classes a week. Maria has a one year old son. She had previously worked with Margaret (Hall, Palms Volunteer) at the Community Health Centre and completed a World Vision English language course in Dili.

Jonh, Anne, Maria and Afonso
Maria, Jonh, Afon and I team teach and learn from each other. John and Afon show me how they learned English at SOLS. They all interpret my explanations and instructions, help me with Tetun and learn teaching skills in an ‘on the job’ apprenticeship style or model. We also meet weekly to share ideas, plan and discuss education.  Hopefully the assistants will gain employment as teachers in 2012. In East Timor experience as a teacher is considered more valuable than a degree. As part of their training, the assistants also have weekly one-to-one English tuition.

Thanks to FPET, Atabae now runs an additional 7 English Language courses each week. This is in addition to the beginner’s and post-beginner’s Youth classes run by Jonh and Afonso.

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Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. - Arundhati Roy