Many of the students enrolled at the DNS Teacher Training College in Guinea-Bissau have never traveled outside of their own province, let alone outside the country.
“I can’t wait to start the travel and meet people from other countries,” said 27 year-old Alexina before the trip began. “We have our own culture, and I’m anxious to learn about other cultures.”
Forty DNS student teachers and their instructors will travel in a large bus across West Africa (Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, and Liberia) for more than 2 months. The trip (part of the “International Investigation Period” of their curriculum) is designed to expand the future teachers’ understanding of the world around them, and encourage them to share the perspective and knowledge they gain with their pupils and the community in which they live.
The student teachers will also learn self-reliance by preparing their own meals, setting up camps, and overcoming any other challenge they encounter on the road.
Alexina looks at the upcoming trip as a way to become a stronger, more resilient teacher. “Sleeping in tents is not 100% comfortable, but life is adaptation, and me, as a teacher, I will need to adapt myself into many situations. This travel will teach me a lot about overcoming difficulties,” she said.
The learning tour is supported by OFID (with additional support from Orabank). It is part of the regional partnership agreement with Humana People to People to train 164 new primary school teachers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, and Mozambique.