guinea-bissau, planet aid, DMM, computersTwo-thirds of Guinea-Bissau’s 1.6 million people live in poverty, struggling to survive on less than $2 per day.  Due to a severe shortage of resources, the country’s educational system has been unable to guide pupils toward a better future. Currently 30 percent of school age children are out of school, and only 43 percent of those who attend primary school complete it through the sixth grade.

According to UNESCO, Guinea-Bissau needs 11,200 new primary school teachers by 2030 to achieve universal primary education. Of the current primary school teachers in the classroom, more than 60% of them are under-qualified.

In order to improve the situation, Humana People to People and its local partner, ADPP Guinea Bissau are working with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF to train more qualified teachers.  HPP and ADPP have signed an agreement with the Government to construct and operate seven teacher-training colleges. These colleges are an integral part of the country’s overall Education Sector Plan.  When fully operational, the colleges will graduate 840 primary school teachers per year.

The first of the seven teacher-training colleges was established in February 2012 in Cacheu region. Forty student teachers recently completed their first year of training at the college. They have now begun their second year, and are obtaining teaching practice in local primary schools.  A second cohort of 40 students will begin three years of training in August 2013.