MOZAMBIQUE: Salesians Provide Only Recognized Professional Teacher Training Program
(MissionNewswire) Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 172nd out of 182 countries on the UN Human Development Index with 54 percent of the population living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Poverty, combined with a shortage of trained teachers, has hampered efforts to open new schools. Currently, the Salesians operate the only professional teacher training school in the country.
The Salesian emphasis on fighting poverty through education and skills training has served Mozambique well. The school, Don Bosco Higher Institute at Maputo, was built with partial funding from the Spanish Cooperation and is the only teacher training center in Mozambique recognized by the Ministry of Education for the training of teachers of Professional Schools.
“Professional teacher training fosters and develops well trained educators who are the foundation for strong academic programs,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This Salesian program provides important instruction to future educators who go on to teach and provide critical job skills to poor youth.”
Developed through a collaboration between the Salesians, the Spanish foreign ministry, the government of Mozambique and Youth of the Third World organization, classes are educating new generations of professional educators. Currently, Don Bosco Higher Institute provides 632 students both traditional professional training courses and a course for the qualification of teachers in professional subjects.
In addition to classroom learning, online classes are available for specialized areas such as industry, tourism, agriculture and administration.
“Teachers are the backbone of educational systems,” adds Fr. Hyde. “The value of strong teacher training is seen in the success of the youth that graduate. Teacher training creates more effective educators who are better able to instill good behavior and academic excellence in their students.”
The training program was developed in the 2006-2007 academic year and began with the construction of the building which houses all classrooms. In addition to overseeing the construction of the school building, the program’s founders, Spanish Salesian Father Angel Miranda and the late Father Valentín de Pablo were responsible for the rebuilding of a local elementary school in Maputo which is run by the Franciscan Sisters today.
Educating poor youth is the main focus of the Salesians in Mozambique and in more than 130 countries around the globe. In addition to the teacher training program, the Salesians provide education and technical training to nearly one hundred youth at the “Rifugio di Languene” in the capital of Mozambique and at the Salesian Training School in Oamba where youth have access to education and shelter in the student hostel.
World Bank – Mozambique