Training the trainers to provide teachers with the proper tools to educate the next generation
Despite Yemen’s ongoing war and the threat that COVID-19 poses to public health, teachers and students continue to show up to their classrooms
Despite Yemen’s ongoing war and the threat that COVID-19 poses to public health, teachers and students continue to show up to their classrooms. Students expect that their teachers will share valuable information with them in ways that are easy to understand, impart life skills, and nurture their love of learning.
To build the capacity of Yemen's educators and improve student outcomes, UNICEF – with funding from the European Union – has launched a literacy and numeracy program. It has provided 58 educators with the skills and strategies they need to train teachers in three governorates. These trainers will now help teachers improve the quality of their classroom instruction and engage with their students.
This session, which ran from 28 December 2021 until 10 January 2022, drew 28 participants from Amanat Al Asimah, 16 from Sana’a, and 14 from Amran.
“Since many of Yemen’s students struggle to learn how to read, the training course serves as an opportunity to review literacy holistically”, one of the central inspectors and trainers at the Capital Secretariat Education Office, Abdullah Al-Mikhlafi, explains. “If we can intervene in the first years of elementary school, then we can make a dramatic impact on students’ educational and social outcomes.”
“The trained teachers will transfer such skills to their students and teach them how to build their abilities and overcome the reading weakness from the first to the third grade, so they become good readers and speakers,” he adds.
Primarily, the course focuses on pedagogical methods to help teachers teach students how to read aloud or on their own – including pronunciation, phonetics, and numeracy. It also provides instructors with the skills they need to share with teachers so that they can come up with individualized learning plans.
Huda Ali Al-Matari, 37, has been teaching Arabic in Al-Wahda District for the past 15 years. This has given her a valuable window into how literacy and arithmetic form the backbone of a student’s educational experience. “This training course was a dream come true for me because what I learned will be reflected in the future of my society. It starts with building each teacher’s skills,” Huda says.
In fact, the program is already showing promising results. Dr. Munir Abdu Ahmed Ali, from Taizz governorate, is the Dean of the Higher Institute for Training and In-service Training and holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics.
“In our speed-reading program, some of the students are now able to read at a rate of 30 to 40 words per minute, and these are just some of the early success stories coming out of the programs that we are implementing,” he explains with a smile.
“One of the challenges we face is that some teachers are not qualified and most of those in the field are high school graduates. They have motivation and ambition, but they do not have training and qualifications,” he adds, emphasizing the importance of this training.