Story written by: Muni Henry Iga
Vision Bearers Academy Primary School
It had been a while since I had a refresher course when the Education Specialist, Mr. Kenyi Sebit John, got me in the office at Vision Bearers P/s to deliver his monthly training program of teachers. I had only been at the school for three days as the Head Teacher of Vision Bearers Academy P/s. Since I was new to the program, Kenyi briefed me on the Teacher Professional Development training, which I understood. I participated in three workshops conducted in the school on schemes of work, lesson plans and how to make lessons more interactive and interesting. The workshops reminded me of the time I was a teacher in Uganda when workshops and seminars were the order of the day. Teachers never stop learning and because of this, I’m sure that pupils enjoyed lessons more, as teaching is enriched with a variety of methods and activities. Thanks God that the initiative is slowly making its way through the teachers of this lovely country, South Sudan, whose education system is seriously lagging behind. The Teacher Professional Development is really helping the teachers in their teaching skills. The training workshops conducted every month ensure that the teachers’ memories are refreshed and the material stays in their minds. In the trainings I attended, teaching and learning can be improved and become interactive when the following are used: • Variety of methods; • Effective use of learning aids; • Involving learners with a lot of activities; • Use of songs, stories and creating a text rich environment. I was impressed with the peer teaching to demonstrate interactive lessons. Teachers learnt a lot from one another, especially the mistakes teachers make unknowingly and think that they have presented a perfect lesson. Despite the many challenges the school faces in providing the necessary support to teachers to improve on the teaching and learning, I’m proud that the workshops have significantly made a positive change on both teachers and pupils at Vision Bearers as teachers try to use the materials learnt during the trainings. This has encouraged active class participation and involvement. In summary, for the teachers to compete satisfactorily on a global scale, such training workshops are of paramount importance and they should be conducted consistently in order to keep teachers refreshed and updated.