57 TEACHERS GRADUATE WITH SUPPORT OF DIGICEL PNG FOUNDATION
July 16th 2010 - Volunteer teachers receive basic numeracy and literacy training
Today the first Digicel Foundation funded teacher training came to a close with the official graduation of 57 community based teachers from 15 different settlement communities around Port Moresby. Each one of these communities have a Digicel Foundation funded Community Learning Centre facility, which is being used as a classroom for disadvantaged children to learn basic numeracy and literacy skills.
The teacher training is a joint initiative organized in partnership with Foursquare Living Light Church and Moresby South Pre-school Association. It is part of a one year programme, “Isi Learning Programme”, developed by Foursquare Church and funded by the Digicel Foundation at a total cost of K70, 000. The concept has been developed with the aim to teach disadvantaged children, who have missed out on formal education, basic numeracy and literacy skills. The aim of this type of support is to give them the opportunity to flow back into the formal primary school education system giving them a much brighter future to look forward to.
The 57 teachers each received a two- week intensive training programme in the period from 21st June until the 16th July at the Foursquare Churches premises in Gerehu, Port Moresby. The training partners, Moresby South Pre-school Association, and Foursquare Living Light Church focused on Early Childhood Development skills as well as phonics, health and hygiene awareness and social interaction skills.
The community based volunteer teachers will continue with a one year mentorship programme whereby partner Foursquare Church will visit each Community Learning Centre and mentor the teachers on a fortnightly basis. The students will also be closely monitored to ensure that they are learning the basic numeracy and literacy skills needed to access basic primary school education.
The Elementary Division of the Department of Education also participated in the two-week teacher’s training by providing a special half day training aimed at the key elements of the elementary school teacher’s curriculum. This is a pilot teacher training programme with a specific focus on the many disadvantaged children in our communities. If successful Digicel Foundation, together with its partners aims to roll out the “Isi Learning Programme” out across the country so that other CLC volunteer teachers and marginalized children can benefit from a higher quality basic education with the opportunity to access formal basic education.
“It is very encouraging to see a joint initiative such as this come to life. Government, Non- Government and the private sector are joining hands to give community based, home grown, volunteer teachers free quality training thereby focusing on those children that are less fortunate and giving them a future through basic education. I personally congratulate all the hard working teachers graduating here today for their commitment to give back to the next generation of PNG, our children and our hope for a better future”.
“The graduation today marks a very special occasion and a milestone for us and our partners. It is the first time we are seeing CLC teachers graduate from the “Isi Learning Programme”. This is only the beginning as these teachers will be following a one year mentoring programme to help them and their students along the way. We wish you all the best in teaching your children the basic skills they will need to succeed in their future lives”.
All communities are encouraged to use their CLC facilities, as a community resource for basic numeracy and literacy training for the many children that are not attending basic schooling , adult literacy, skilled-based training, cooking and sewing for women, and HIV/AIDS awareness depending on the specific needs of the community.
The Department for Community Development is also closely involved in the roll out of the CLC facilities. The Community Learning Centres are a basis for the implementation of the Integrated Community Development policy of the Department for Community Development whereby the Community Learning Centres can be used to help strengthen communities from the “inside out” with some support from the “outside” depending on the needs of that community.
The Digicel Foundation especially recognizes those communities that are active in helping themselves with the little resources they have. The Digicel Foundation’s main focus is to initiate projects that will provide opportunities and inspire a positive and vibrant future for the communities within PNG. The Digicel Foundation believes that as the Digicel Company grows, the communities in PNG should grow as well.
To date the Digicel Foundation has funded 38 Community Learning Centres, 11 primary school and 16 elementary school infrastructure projects; three Mobile Health Clinics, four Meri Seif Haus projects and four Family Support Centres. The Digicel Foundation plans to continue the funding of community projects in the area of education aiming to support communities as they hopefully become more self-reliant in the future