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Peace Corps

Country: Republic of South Africa
Program: Schools and Community Resource Project
Job Title: School Teacher
Pre-Service Training: July 12 — September 2, 2012
Dates of Service: September 3, 2012 — September 3, 2014
Site: Battlefield Region of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province
Language/Culture: isiZulu
Volunteer Group:SA 26

History of the Program:
Peace Corps South Africa began implementing the Schools and Community Resource project in 1997, following South Africa’s first democratic, multi-party election and the subsequent inauguration of Nelson Mandela as President. The dismantling of “Bantu Education” was identified as among the government’s top priorities. The legacy of Bantu education for black South Africans was specific and intentional: the severe under-resourcing of schools, a high percentage of insufficiently or poorly trained teachers segregation by location designed to reinforce a negative self-image and to limit the aspirations of black school children, there was also the need to replace it with a system that would foster critical thinking and creativity and that would nurture long-dormat parental involvement in schools.

Peace Corps Volunteers work with the teachers of their school to instill a culture of learning, teaching and service in schools and disadvantaged communities: formerly the very targets of Bantu education. The project is focused in predominately black, rural, mostly primary schools in villages and townships. Volunteers are placed mainly at the primary school level where they facilitate the teachers’ skills development and understanding of the post-apartheid outcome-based curriculum.
Volunteers creatively seek to involve parents and community members in a mutually reinforcing relationship with schools.

The Schools and Community Resources Project currently has 106 Volunteers working directly with nearly 215 schools in more than 100 communities.

My primary duties are:

  • providing direct instruction to learners
  • supporting initiatives by the government and NGOs that promote HIV-AIDS awareness and education in schools and communities as well as developing strategies for handling the subject in schools
  • initiating, supporting and strengthening programmes in the community that empower out of school youth
  • conducting basic computer literacy training to the educators, learners and community members
5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Barbara Foster #

    Hey Liz,

    I’m a teacher in L.A. at a school similar to Markham, where you recently worked providing teaching support.

    As someone who works with kids similar to the ones you worked with, I was glad that you chose to work in South Central Los Angeles. The campuses there need many adults to support the fragile learning environment. I’m glad you could help.

    Now you are off to South Africa, where a good friend of mine just returned from a vacation (she was in the Peace Corps years ago – in El Salvador in the 1970s). She too has felt that deep call within her and may return to South Africa in the near future to work again for the disadvantaged.

    Anyway, I just loved reading your impressions – regarding your work with Americorps in Watts – and feel happy you have developed as such a caring person, continuing to contribute to our global village.

    Bon Voyage!
    Barbara Foster

    July 3, 2012
  2. Mary Kate #

    Liz, What an excellent and informative blog. i will keep up with you through this. I miss
    all of you and wish I could have stayed healthy to make it. But something else will come up I am sure. Meeting up with another PC friend who just returned from Dominica after 18 mos.
    Even in the short time I was there I took away so much from the learning experience.
    Look forward to reading more of your blog. Hello to all the group. wish I could send photos to the family I stayed with. Best of luck and courage and health in your site assignment.

    September 1, 2012
  3. Good Day Liz,

    Sorry to bother you. My name is Ray Blakney and I am a RPCV from Mexico. I am working on a 3rd goal project with the PC regional offices and the main office in DC to try to create an online archive to keep the language training material made all over the world from getting lost. I have created a sub-section on my website with all the information I have been able to get to date (from over the web and sent to me directly by PC staff and PCV’s). I currently have close to 100 languages with ebooks, audios and even some videos.

    The next step for this project is that I am trying to get the world out about this resource so that it can not only be used by PCV’s or those accepted into the Peace Corps, but also so that when people run across material that is not on the site they can send it to me and I can get it up for everybody to use. I was hoping that you could help getting the word out by putting a link on this on your site at:

    so that people know it is there. There should be something there for almost everybody. It is all 100% free to use and share. Here is the page:

    Thanks for any help you can provide in making this 3rd goal project a success. And if anybody in your group has some old material they can scan or already have in digital form, and want to add to the archive, please don’t hesitate to pass them my email. Thanks and have a great day.

    Ray Blakney

    January 14, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Peace Corps realities: corporal punishment | Liz in Service
  2. SA Bloggers – Peace Corps realities: corporal punishment

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