After 4 years of growing our RATA teams, we continue training in South Africa, Ghana and India, also adding Tanzania in 2011. We have honed our approach and now seek to spend 5 quality years training in a country location and then release our team to the well-trained local teachers. As of 2014, we are no longer traveling to Ghana after a very successful 5 years. We are currently focusing on India and Tanzania in 2015 forwards.
To see some of the stories and other events from our recent trips, check out our News + Events page.
Conference style training with key note speakers. Dr Cheryl Doig from “Think Beyond” joined us as a keynote speaker; we were honored to have her expertise and passion for global education on board with RATA.
A team of five worked with the Ghanian teachers in pedagogy, thinking about how we educate learners. We had a solid look at what they do now and how we can work alongside that and enhance it. We ran some workshops on thinking skills, literacy, numeracy and behaviour management on a “teacher only day”.
We took a team of four people from New Zealand and worked in the foothills of the Himalayas with teachers from six schools under the umbrella of one organization. These schools are in mountain villages where some children have to walk 3 hours a day to attend. Three of the schools are in crowded urban areas and cater for the children of beggars and slum dwellers. All this knowledge is new for the teachers, and it makes them very aware that rote is not teaching learners to think.
RATA returned to the Ark and took the Ark staff on educational visits around the city of Cape Town. We ran appraisals on each teacher to give positive feedback and areas to improve their teaching practice. These were positively accepted as many of The Ark teachers have never had positive comments made about their work and given to them in such a formal and meaningful way. We built a playground for the children to play on, a real joy to them and a humbling gift from people all over the world to the Ark children.
We began new work in Ghana, working alongside three schools filled with students eager to learn and with little or no resources and limited trained teachers. One school is constructed of wooden planks with gaping holes. Children sit five to a table sharing a book. The teaching is done by rote and so the children’s learning and ability to think is hindered. Yet they are passionate about being educated, about learning. We have much to do in Ghana and have a very supportive team eager and waiting to work with us.
Ark Teachers received training for the first time; now classes enjoy book-reading areas, PE activities and teacher story telling & trained teaching methods. Student pass rates were the highest in school history. A 3-year Strategic Plan was written for the school to implement. The New Zealand teachers worked hard, all felt that their time was professionally and personally very satisfying.
1 NZ teacher worked with 5 chosen Ark teachers in Cape Town.