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ChildFund Seeking Adventurous Kiwi Teachers

MEDIA RELEASE 14 August, 2008


ChildFund Seeking Adventurous Kiwi Teachers for ‘Global’ Experience

ChildFund New Zealand is inviting applications from up to 24 Kiwi teachers to travel to Zambia for 10 days in 2009 as part of the ChildFund Global Schools programme which seeks to help boost the quality of education in Zambia while exposing Kiwi teachers and schools to the issues facing developing countries.

ChildFund Global Schools is a unique, potentially life changing opportunity for motivated New Zealand teachers. Two teams of 12 teachers will spend time in rural Zambian schools interacting with the students, teachers, and the wider school communities. They will teach alongside the local teachers and share their knowledge and techniques.

Later in the school year, a small group of Zambian teachers will travel to New Zealand to spend time in our schools and teach alongside the ChildFund Global Schools teachers, providing Kiwi students with a valuable cultural experience and opportunity to learn about the issues affecting developing nations.

ChildFund Global Schools launched this year with seven New Zealand teachers, who travelled to Zambia in April, hosting three Zambian teachers this month. ChildFund would like to acknowledge the Global Education Fund which assisted in bringing the Zambian teachers to New Zealand, giving New Zealand students and teachers the opportunity to share in a unique learning experience.

ChildFund New Zealand's education programmes manager, Sally Hewlett says, “In Zambia there has been a big push to give more students access to basic education but that has put pressure on the teaching profession and quality has been compromised. Many schools in developing nations use old fashioned methods of teaching with the teacher up front lecturing. When this is coupled with average class sizes of 60 students, few resources and poor conditions, it's no wonder that only 1 in 5 children makes it to secondary school. In rural areas, this figure is much lower.

"ChildFund Global Schools’ use of peer to peer teaching exchanges is aimed at increasing the overall quality of classroom teaching and learning. The Zambian teachers get to experience different teaching approaches while ‘team-teaching’ alongside a New Zealand teacher. Funding from the New Zealand schools will also support a year-long teacher training scheme and peer support groups to pass on newly learned skills.

“Our first Global Schools programme has been a huge success so far. The Kiwi teachers who’ve participated in this inaugural year tell us they’ve received enormous personal and professional benefits, particularly a better understanding of the human realities faced by people living in poverty. They’ve been able to draw on those experiences to bring to life discussions on aid and development with their students and wider school communities."

Christ's College teacher Helen Chileshe says she was really challenged to come up with creative and imaginative lessons with few resources. Massey High School teacher Laura Swan would encourage other teachers to take up the challenge saying it would suit someone who is open minded, passionate, confident and a progressive thinker when it comes to teaching methods.

Participating schools commit to a fundraising target of $15,000 per teacher which helps fund ongoing professional development work in Zambian schools and provide much needed resources, as well as cover the teacher exchange costs.

Ms Hewlett says the 2008 participants have demonstrated that the fundraising task can also be a valuable education tool. “These teachers have shown that by getting the whole school involved, it provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the value of education and the many challenges students face in the developing world. It’s triggered fantastic learning streams, giving students the opportunity to think about a whole range of issues from a global perspective.”

New Zealand teachers interested in participating in Global Schools 2009 can contact Sally Hewlett at sally[at]childfund.org.nz or 09 366 2278 or 0800 223 678.

ENDS


ChildFund New Zealand

ChildFund New Zealand is an international child development organisation which works in 54 countries, assisting 11.4 million children and family members regardless of race, creed or gender.

ChildFund New Zealand, a member of the ChildFund Alliance, works for the well-being of children by supporting locally led initiatives that strengthen families and communities, helping them overcome poverty and protect the rights of their children.

ChildFund's comprehensive programmes incorporate health, education, nutrition and livelihood interventions that sustainably protect, nurture and develop children. ChildFund works in any environment where poverty, conflict and disaster threaten the well-being of children.

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