WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY: Salesian Teachers Provide Hope, Education for Poor Youth around the Globe
(MissionNewswire) In celebration of World Teacher’s Day, Salesian Missions joins with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and many organizations around the globe in focusing on the vital role that teachers play in student’s lives shaping them to have sustainable futures and become contributing members of their communities.
Every year since 1994, UNESCO celebrates October 5 as World Teachers’ Day. The day was designated as a way to appreciate, assess and improve educators around the world. The theme for this year’s World Teachers’ Day is “A Call for Teachers” and will focus on UNESCO’s work on quality teachers for global citizenship and cultural diversity.
Teachers play an important role in the lives of poor youth in Salesian elementary, secondary, agricultural, technical and vocational schools in more than 130 countries around the globe. Their work is vital to their students’ success both in and out of the classroom.
Salesian teachers face many challenges educating poor youth. Youth in their classrooms have faced severe poverty and often lack basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Some educated in Salesian programs were previously living and working on the streets of their local communities. Others have faced war as child soldiers or become refugees in war torn communities. Salesian teachers meet these challenges head on providing education and hope for a brighter future.
“Teachers are the backbone the Salesian educational system and we are dedicated to providing the support and training they need,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The value of strong teachers can be seen in the accomplishments of youth that graduate from their classes. The Salesians know that access to education and well qualified teachers are critical to help youth learn job skills, improve their lives and find a path out of poverty.”
The Salesians are also dedicated to increasing the numbers of trained teachers throughout the globe in some of the poorest places where they are most needed. The United Nations says there is a huge need for well-trained and well-supported teachers, particularly in African and Arab countries. Not only are the Salesians a major employer of quality teachers around the globe, they also provide the training and certification these teachers need.
In honor of World Teacher’s Day, the Salesians highlight the important work accomplished by Salesian teachers who are providing hope and a path out of poverty for youth.
Education is a sign of progress in Haiti. Recently, four Salesian teachers from the Network of Salesian Schools in Brazil returned from an educational trip to Haiti as part of a Teachers without Boundaries project. For four weeks in July, the teachers conducted sporting activities every day with close to 450 youth from the Salesian schools and programs in the city of Les Cayes e Fort-Liberté, Haiti. Focusing on youth between five and 18 years of age, the initiative used sports to aid in the students’ overall development. Students took part in recreational activities such as treasure hunts, educational games, sports and various workshops. In addition, youth were taught soccer and volleyball, activities enjoyed throughout Brazil. Sports programs such as this teach valuable skills to youth both on and off the field. They offer unlimited opportunities for growth by simultaneously developing leadership, teamwork and social skills.
With just over half the country living in poverty, many lack services such as access to safe water, health facilities and an education. The Salesians operate the only professional teacher training program in the country. They know that the best way to fight poverty is through education and skills training. Most recently, the Spanish Salesian Volunteer Movement completed its 21st trip to Mozambique working to educate new teachers. The trip which included four Salesian Brothers and other Salesian staff provided assistance with education programs and technical training. The volunteers provided hands-on training and focused their efforts with students who are part of the teacher training program in electrical engineering and general mechanics at Don Bosco Higher Institute in Maputo. Using the apprentice method, the volunteers taught these future teachers new skills and working methods on the lathe and the milling machine.
In early September, 53 students in Salesian-run teacher training received teacher certification which is recognized at the national level and qualifies them as teachers. The three week training course was run by the Salesian International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS) volunteers. VIS volunteers trained students at the public centers for professional training in Khartoum and El Obeid. The training included a theoretical education and practical hands-on training aimed at providing the participants the main teaching skills needed for technical training. The new certified teachers will work directly with students in classrooms educating and helping Sudanese students achieve lifelong dreams of gaining an education, find livable wage employment and break the cycle of poverty.
UNESCO – World Teachers’ Day