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
Volunteer Group:SA 26
Choose a category to access specific blog posts on Liz in Service that describe my Peace Corps assignment:
Liz’s Primary Peace Corps Project: monthly updates about my primary project as a primary school English teacher
Liz’s Secondary Peace Corps Project: monthly updates about my secondary projects in my village or at my school like organizing the school library and after-school sports, etc.
Ubuntu: any interesting cultural experiences or differences
Just Another Day in the Peace Corps: the funny, ironic and odd things that happen as a PCV
Peace Corps Realities: realities — good or bad — Volunteers face in the field
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