LITTLE DO WE KNOW how important teachers are to the development of children and to their later life as adults! According to UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics, 69 million new teachers are needed to provide quality universal primary and secondary education by 2030. That’s more than the number of people in France!
On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day on 5 October, we are excited to tell you about our work in training Vietnamese teachers to new skills, as part of our project for the education of ethnic minorities in the Lai Chau province, to ensure children in the area get a proper education through bilingualism.
In remote and mountainous Lai Chau in north-western Vietnam, we have been implementing since 2015 a project for the education of ethnic minority children. The extreme marginalisation that these children face is not only social, economic and geographic, but also linguistic. The children typically do not speak Vietnamese, which obviously creates serious difficulties in their access to education.
Our project, which runs until 2020, has a very prominent linguistic component. We are pioneering the promotion of bilingualism, not only for the children, but also for the teachers! That’s one of the many ways we train teachers and new teachers to ensure quality education for all, in line with the 4th UN General Assembly Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this context, whilst children are taught to speak Vietnamese, teachers also have to learn the basics of their pupils’ languages. This ensures better understanding on both parts, and increases the quality of the teaching and the learning. Education is a win-win game.
In May of last year, several teachers from the communes of Nung Nang, Ta Leng and Khun Ha took part in a two-day training course on bilingual teaching. As part of the course, they presented new lesson plans integrating bilingual supplements in their preschool teaching. This is only one of many training courses given to local teachers since the beginning of the project.
Two teachers during the training session
Teaching bilingual classes is a skill that teachers have to acquire in order to deliver quality education
During the course, teachers discussed the issues and challenges they faced with bilingual teaching. They were able to learn more about the use of the bilingual supplements, especially in complex situations such as multilingual classes, where the children come from a variety of different ethnic groups.
The children have benefited massively from their teachers’ training course, as the communication between them shows it has greatly improved. It’s also enabled the teachers to track the children’s progress much more effectively. Children who used to not be able to go to school, or understand what was being taught at school, have now accessed education and reaped the largest benefits from it. They will be able to become autonomous and empowered in Vietnamese society.
Little do we know…
In 2017, we trained and built the capacity of over 16,000 teachers in 19 countries, so that more children can be taught. Little do most of us know how teacher shortage is cruelly impacting society, robbing it from its talent and potential. So much more needs to be done!
Education is the most powerful way to change things in this world
Help us reach out to more teachers and more young adults, so that we can teach them new skills and/or a rewarding career, which will enable millions of children around the world to receive the quality primary and secondary education they deserve.
Happy World Teachers’ Day! Please support us in our mission today!