by Merritt Frey, Executive Director
This is a big week for our teachers in Mali. All this week, 36 of our teachers will attend a teacher training with professional experts. They'll spend 5 days learning the best teaching techniques, how to incorporate active learning into their classrooms, and how to manage their huge classes (sometimes as many as 100 students in a class!).
For those of us here in the states, this might sound humdrum. But for teachers in Mali, it is a big deal. Because of a teacher shortage, some teachers receive as little as 6 months of training before being sent to a remote school to sink or swim. And middle school teachers like ours rarely receive any follow-up training -- one teacher told us he had been teaching for 12 years with NO additional training or help.
So, Mali Rising is partnering with teaching experts in Mali to host this training, reaching teachers from 18 of our 20 schools. After our last training, teachers saw an average of a 28% increase in teaching skills when evaluated in classroom before and after the training!
We are especially excited that one full day of this training focuses on the skills required to provide a safe and productive learning environment for girls. Teachers will leave with a better understanding of how to prevent gender violence and how to make sure they are reaching both boys AND girls.
This is one small example of the ways in which Mali Rising stays in partnership with our villages for the long-haul. By providing training and other support, we make sure that when we build a school we aren't just creating a big building...we're creating a place where children's lives are changed through the power of education.