To Be a Teacher

Author Portrait_Simone Jussar, Quality Communications Coordinator
Simone Jussar

Quality Communications Coordinator

Save the Children in Mozambique

February 16, 2018

In the Nacala-a-Velha region of Mozambique, in a community called Locone, lives the little Sara, a 10-year-old student in grade 2, who like many other children in her community dreams to be a teacher.

Save the Children in Mozambique has been working hard to improve the quality of education in rural Mozambique for children like Sara, such as by training teachers and school managers, forming school councils, and promoting and developing new school activities for students like reading fairs and camps.

Sara tells us, “I want to be a teacher to help other children in the community.”

Sara attending a reading camp lesson./center>
Sara attending a reading camp lesson.

In the beginning of the school year, Sara had poor performance and lacked confidence in the classroom. She was ashamed because she couldn’t solve the math exercises, and couldn’t yet read the alphabet easily or participate in the lessons. Her teacher tells us that in collaboration with Save the Children staff, parents like Saras’s father and other community members, the community came together to create reading camps. These camps would host sessions twice a week for struggling learners like Sarah, to offer the extra support they need outside of school – although all children are encouraged to attend.

Community members with some education or good literacy skills, and talents for entertaining and connecting with young children, are selected as reading camp promoters. They are constantly receiving trainings through sponsorship to improve their teaching abilities. The promoters identify children’s individual difficulties and host sessions in the mornings or afternoons, and focus on building numeracy and literacy skills. By ensuring camps provide child-centered educational games, fun, lively lessons, plentiful and interesting books and a supportive environment, children gradually gain confidence and develop a love for learning.

After just one month of attending the lessons at reading camps with the other children, Sara’s school performance began to improve.

She was able to remember so much more, like names of animals, objects and other words in her world.  She also developed a good understanding of numbers, started to understand and solve basic mathematics exercises, and was finally able to read the alphabet without hesitation. At school, she became one of the most outstanding students, always turning in her homework correctly, helping her classmates to do their homework and solve math problems. Her confidence in the classroom had blossomed, and she became a frequent participant in all her classes. Specifically, Portuguese, the national language of Mozambique, became her favorite subject. “We make lessons more fun with some song and dance, in order to ensure that the child is happy and ready to learn, and Sara is improving her skills,” shares Momade, Sara’s reading camps promoter.

Sara participating in a lesson about vowels.
Sara participating in a lesson about vowels.

Sara continues to improve significantly in her school performance and grades. “I remember when she used to just participate in the lessons when she was called on. Today, she is one of the most responsible of the group in her grade,” shared her teacher, Tuaha.

Now she is very happy to attend lessons. “I like to be here at the reading camp and I also enjoy learning, because together with Momade, we play, sing and dance,” Sara smiled. Today, sponsorship in Mozambique has over 80 reading camps supported by our sponsors, reaching over 10,600 children.

Many children are now experiencing a love for learning for the first times in their lives, thanks to you!

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Volunteers for Their Community

author-portrait_mengos-nazare-sebastiao-provincial-basic-education-coordinatorMengos Nazare Sebastião

Provincial Basic Education Coordinator

Save the Children in Mozambique

October 5, 2016

Salimo and Arcangelo are two volunteers from the community of Patone, who support Sponsorship program activities with Save the Children in Mozambique.

Thanks to sponsor support, Salimo and Arcangelo are able to help implement Literacy Boost programs for children of friends and family members, in the village they call home. This program is based on years of experience and evidence of what works in teaching children to learn to read: a well-trained teacher, plentiful and interesting books to read and a supportive home environment. Having seen the gaps in the early literacy skills of the children of Patone themselves, the two young men know the potential that Literacy Boost has to make improvements.

Volunteers Salimo and Arcangelo facilitating a reading camp session
Volunteers Salimo and Arcangelo facilitating a reading camp session.

When asked about what motivated them to volunteer their time, they said that they commonly see many school children above grade 3 who unfortunately cannot read or write. If children at this stage don’t have basic reading and writing skills, it’s very difficult for them to proceed with their education and continue into higher grades, often resulting in discouraged students dropping out of school entirely. For those who don’t drop out, children who lack these skills may need to repeat their early grades two, three or even more times. Eventually, their parents lose interest in sending their children to school because they feel they will not succeed, and pull them out so they can help with house chores or farming.

Arcangelo is proud to be a community volunteer with Save the Children.
Arcangelo is proud to be a community volunteer with Save the Children.

Salimo and Arcangelo know how crucial reading and writing is in the learning process, and that children cannot learn everything at school or by themselves. They know that learning takes place both inside schools and out, so it is important to work not only with teachers, but with parents, other community literacy volunteers and youth to create a holistic reading program.

For this reason, the volunteers advocate throughout the community for the inclusion of parents and caregivers in their children’s learning process. Also in their role as Sponsorship volunteers, Salimo and Arcangelo join the children after their lessons, providing them guidance and encouragement in their reading and writing. Putting the children in a learning environment after school helps to complement what the teachers do in the classrooms.

Their goal is to work to guarantee that more children can read and write during their first year of primary school. With the continued support of our dedicated family of sponsors, we can see that dream realized for Patone. All the way from Mozambique – Salimo, Arcangelo and the children they work with send their thanks!

 

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.