WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY: Salesian Missions highlights initiatives that support and train teachers around the globe
Educational initiatives in Ghana, Haiti, South Sudan and Spain illustrate the work of Salesians around the globe that highlights this year’s theme in support of young teachers.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 5, 2019) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and countries around the globe in honoring World Teachers’ Day celebrated each year on Oct. 5. The day honors the vital role that teachers play in the lives of their students. Since 1994, World Teachers’ Day has been held annually and commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has noted that the theme for this year’s World Teachers’ Day is “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.” UNESCO indicates, “The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, to take stock of achievements, and to address some of the issues central for attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.”
Teachers play an important role in the lives of poor youth in Salesian schools. Their work is vital to their students’ success both in and out of the classroom. Salesian missionaries educate more than 1 million youth in over 5,500 schools and youth centers and nearly 1,000 vocational, technical and agricultural schools in more than 130 countries around the globe.
Salesian missionaries understand the importance of education in building strong sustainable societies and are dedicated to increasing the number of trained teachers where they are needed most. Not only are the Salesians a major employer of quality teachers worldwide, but they also provide the training and certification teachers need. In addition, Salesian programs provide ongoing teacher training to ensure that teachers remain motivated and effective in the classroom and have their own educational needs met.
“Teachers are the backbone of the Salesian educational system and we are dedicated to providing the support and training they need,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesian teachers face many challenges educating poor youth. Many of their students have faced severe poverty and often lack basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Some were previously living and working on the streets and 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.”
In honor and celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2019, Salesian Missions is proud to highlight initiatives that help train and support teachers around the globe.
The Don Bosco Youth Network and the Salesian-run International Volunteer Service for Development (VIS) are promoting the green economy and sustainable agriculture as part of a project for Local Economic Empowerment for Women, Youth and Vulnerable Groups. The Don Bosco Youth Network of the Salesian West African Province organized an educational session for trainers in bio-entomology to boost its campaign and promotion of organic agriculture as part of its commitment to Don Bosco Green Alliance.
The bio-entomology training brought together 30 participants from various Salesian disciplines and programs including Salesian agriculture teachers and staff from Ghana‘s Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Ten youth who are mentor farmers also attended the course. Participants attended classroom lectures, field identification and preparation of botanicals, testing the efficacy of organic preparations and control of pests in the greenhouse.
The training provided an overview of methods for using plants and botanicals to control pests in farming and storage of crops. Beneficial insects and organisms were identified so that farmers knew what they were, their benefits and not to kill them when they are found on the farm. Parasitoids (organisms that feed on pests) were also studied.
In addition, the training educated the participants on various methods of preparing the botanicals and multiplying beneficial organisms. Other methods for preventing and controlling pests were part of the integrated approach without the use of inorganic pesticides. The participants finished the course learning the key effects and impacts on the indiscriminate use of pesticides on human health, sustainable production, beneficial insects, parasitoids and the environment.
Salesian missionaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, have launched a new initiative to train teachers of technical and vocational institutes. Called the ENTEC Technical School, it aims to improve the quality of education and employment prospects of young Haitians by ensuring that their teachers have the most up-to-date training available.
Salesian missionaries have a long history of providing technical and vocational training in the country. They have continued their collaboration with national authorities through the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training and with the National Institute of Vocational Training. Their current goal is to improve the quality of training for teachers and increase the skills of those teaching at technical and vocational training centers.
The ENTEC Technical School will provide a framework for the permanent and ongoing formation of teachers and will endow them with solid pedagogical skills applicable to their sector. The intention is to establish a permanent body of educators at all levels capable of maximizing the performance and internal efficiency of technical and professional institutes.
Thirty-five teachers from several schools, together with the staff of Don Bosco Radio, attended a three-day training session on trauma healing. Facilitated by a doctor working with Salesian missionaries in the Tonj State of South Sudan, the training was aimed at educating teachers and other Salesian staff on how to best solve different issues that affect the health of individuals in their communities.
The training worked to address physical challenges among individuals in Salesian programs. The country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 but is facing an ongoing civil war that started in December 2013 and has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis. Responding to the ongoing civil strife is nothing new to Salesian missionaries in South Sudan who are dedicated to the programs and services they are providing across the country.
In addition to humanitarian aid, Salesian missionaries provide education, social development services, nutrition programs and health clinics for poor youth and their families. For some, the education offered at Salesian schools is the only opportunity to gain an education and the skills necessary for future employment.
The Salesian school in Alcalá de Guadaíra, a town located approximately 17 km southeast of Seville, Spain, launched an initiative called the Mi Colegio 2020 project. The initiative is focused on providing the best technological and human tools available to prepare students for the workforce or advanced education. The Mi Colegio 2020 project combines new technologies and robotics with new teaching methods.
The Salesian School of Alcalá has been educating students for 104 years and has greatly impacted many in the region. Its current goal is to advance the school’s use of technology in the fields of construction, medicine, science, space navigation and other fields. Computer programming, as well as the use and management of technologies, is now considered a basic competency of the 21st century. The Mi Colegio 2020 project has been launched to ensure that school educators and students have access to the latest technologies available for learning.
Salesian centers in Spain operate close to 50 vocational and technical training centers that employ 1,300 teachers and offer 17,000 students a chance to gain an education. In addition to these centers, the Pinardi Federation of Salesian Social Platforms and the Salesian Association of Technology and Innovation also offer vocational training courses. All Salesian vocational centers have the support of companies from a variety of business sectors to give students real-world work experience.
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