MOZAMBIQUE: Spanish Salesian Volunteers Train New Electrical Engineering and General Mechanics Teachers
(MissionNewswire) Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite impressive growth and development over the last several years that has reduced the once 70 percent poverty rate (in the late 1990s) to 54 percent today, poverty continues to be severe and widespread, according the the World Bank.
More than 70 percent of those living in poverty, reside in rural areas and rely on farming and fishing to make a living. The vast majority of the rural population lives on less than $1.25 a day and lacks basic services such as access to safe water, health facilities and schools.
Opened by the Salesians of Mozambique to meet the needs of poor youth, the Don Bosco Higher Institute at Maputo operates the only professional teacher training program in the country. Partially funded by the Spanish Cooperation, it 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 which lay 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 then go on to teach critical job skills to poor youth.”
Recently, a Spanish Salesian Volunteer Movement completed its 21st trip to Mozambique on a mission to educate new teachers. Led by Father Angel Miranda, the volunteers included four Salesian Brothers and other Salesian staff. While at the Don Bosco Higher Institute, the group provided assistance with education programs and technical training, including hands-on training for students enrolled in the teacher training program in electrical engineering and general mechanics.
Using the apprentice method, the volunteers taught the future teachers new skills and working methods on the lathe and the milling machine. The electrical engineering students did their work in the workshops at the school while the mechanics students and welders built new equipment for the halls.
“Teachers are the backbone of educational systems,” says Fr. Hyde. “The value of strong teacher training is seen in the youth that graduate from trained teachers’ classes. Training enables educators to be more effective in their jobs, resulting in students that learn and behave better and achieve academically.”
“The Salesians know that access to education and educated teachers is critical to helping youth learn job skills, improve their lives and find a path out of poverty,” adds Fr. Hyde.
The teacher training program was developed in the 2006-2007 academic year at Don Bosco Higher Institute and was made possible through a collaboration between the Salesians, the Spanish foreign ministry, the government of Mozambique and the Youth of the Third World organization. Currently, Don Bosco Higher Institute provides traditional professional training courses and a course for the qualification of teachers in professional subjects to 632 students.
World Bank – Mozambique