“My dream has always been to be a teacher. I always imagined myself in front of students giving a class and teaching about life. I hope that my career helps change the conditions in my country. After all, I’m not only interested in changing myself but also changing my country.”
—Celia C., studying in Gaza, Mozambique
Training new primary school teachers is vital to the future of Mozambique. Approximately 68,000 more teachers are needed in the nation to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education. Student-teacher ratios in primary schools are currently estimated by UNESCO to be at 55 to 1, and can be much higher in rural areas.
Recognizing the vital need for trained teachers in the country, Planet Aid and its implementing partner ADPP Mozambique are training 4,000 new primary school teachers as part of its school feeding project in Mozambique — an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Food for Education Program. Part of that training will include improving knowledge in the areas of nutrition, hygiene and health. Overall, the three-year project will benefit more than one million students, teachers, parents, and community members in all ten provinces of Mozambique (see previous reports on the project). In this post, we introduce a few of the teachers being trained under the program.
“On my first day of contact with primary school students I had an unforgettable thrill. There were 50 attentive children waiting to hear what I had to say and the supervisor with a notepad ready to evaluate. I started off uncertain and scared, but I got more relaxed, started making the class more interactive, and gained more support from children. It was an experience I will always remember as I start work as a teacher.”
—Virgínia F., studying in Gaza, Mozambique
“I chose to be a teacher because teaching is one of the most beautiful, most exciting, most rewarding professions there is. Getting to know the students, sharing knowledge, creating ties, seeing the development of the children and making it fun. I firmly believe in the possibility of social transformation through education.”
—Imo F., studying in Nametil, Mozambique
“ I was anxious when I first entered the classroom to teach. What should I say? What will I teach? So many children looking at me! What do they want? Then I started giving my first class. In front of me, over 50 small faces looking at me. I spoke to one, then to another. I began a conversation – and they answered me. That’s when I started to love them. At that moment I forgot that I am a teacher. I’m just a human being willing to show the path to happiness for others. I have found my calling. It's not money or personal ambition that drags me to a classroom but love, an innate desire to share knowledge, to help other human beings.”
—Eduardo C., studying in Chimoio, Mozambique