Southern Sudan: JRS Kajo Keji concludes in-service teacher training
30 January 2009

A new school building under construction. JRS builds new schools for the newly trained teachers. (Phil Cunningham/JRS)
Mr. Lisok further advised teachers to utilise the knowledge and skills gained to benefit the community, adding that the children they teach must feel that the teachers truly love them through rendering excellent services to them.
Kajo Keji, 30 January 2009 JRS Kajo Keji concluded the third phase of nine weeks in-service teacher training on methodology of specific subjects and class management targeting untrained primary teachers.

The main objective of the training was to improve teachers’ teaching methodologies and techniques and to help them discover their strengths and weakness to improve their performance and the quality of their teaching which is in line with the overall objective to promote professional teacher development through formal training. The workshop which was facilitated by JRS teacher trainer Wani Emmanuel Denson was attended by 75 teachers of which 21% were female. Since 2001, when the project first started, about three quarters of the untrained teachers in Kajo Keji County have received in-service teacher training.

During the training sessions, lessons were conducted for one week. Practical exercises of lesson planning and checking them followed during the second week and the facilitators helped those teachers facing problems. Microteaching sessions and classroom observation of the teachers was completed by the facilitators after the practice exercise in scheming and lesson planning. The teachers prepared for three days and finally sat for examinations. According to the facilitators, the trainees are good and knowledgeable at preparing schemes of work and lesson plans but lack adequate skills and techniques of lesson presentation to impart knowledge to the pupils.

Empowering with knowledge

Speaking on behalf of the trainees, Anda Simaya, a primary school teacher, commented that the training has empowered them with skills and knowledge, which will help them to raise the children to become future leaders, and recommended the continuation of the in-service training program. He requested JRS to offer formal training for those trained under in-service and improve their sleeping quarters by availing mattresses other than papyrus mates.

Project Director Joseph Lisok explained the background of the teacher-training programme and assured its continuation. He recommended that those who attended such training would be considered for Teacher Training Institutes if they meet admission requirements. He further announced that a formal teacher-training programme in which more than 100 trainees will enroll for a three years programme would be piloted at Kajokeji and Yei once the training modules prepared by JRS are approved by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Mr. Lisok also pointed out that JRS build the capacity of most NGO staff and some County staff within Sudan while they were in exile in northern Uganda.

Mr. Lisok further advised teachers to utilise the knowledge and skills gained to benefit the community, adding that the children they teach must feel that the teachers truly love them through rendering excellent services to them. He also stressed the importance of teachers for the development of the society since they provide the necessary basic training which is the requirement for all other qualifications.

Difficulties with teachers working

The inspector for primary schools Edward Londo appealed to JRS to continue building the capacity of the teachers and help the inspectors at the County Education office to adequately prepare them to face the challenges in implementing the education curriculum in South Sudan. He advised the facilitators to be accessible and available to JRS whenever they are called upon. Mr. Londo also noted that after taking a sample of schools for inspection they discovered that trained teachers do not prepare lesson plans and scheme of work compared with those who have attended in-service teacher training. He cautioned teachers for unprofessional behaviour and advised teachers to improve their discipline and act as role models. 

The guest of honour, Charles Wani Apollo, Coordinator for Secondary Education in Kajokeji County, in his closing remarks emphasised that the County Education office and JRS will continue to work in collaboration. “Teaching is not a simple task. It must change the thinking and behaviours of the pupils in line with the Country’s curriculum”, he added. He informed the trainees that in consultation with JRS steps will be worked out against those teachers who either escaped from the training or did not turn up. He asked the trainees to be exemplary and read their books so that the pupils will emulate their good example.

At the end of the workshop Mr. Denson pointed out that to effectively follow up on the training, collaboration with the County Education Office, and the Inspectorate Department should be strengthened using the few JRS facilities. To address recurrent problems in attendance and in order to meet the new emerging needs of secondary school teachers, a school based in-service teacher training will be organised soon. The closing ceremony was attended by all JRS staff, facilitators and the deputy principal of Comboni Comprehensive College, Lomin, which was hosting the training.

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