International (MNN) — Worldwide Christian Schools is a ministry whose vision is to
ensure that all people have access to Christ-centered education.
But, how best to implement that vision, when finding
qualified teachers in Third World nations becomes a serious obstacle to
fulfilling the goal?
Dale Dieleman with WWCS says their team has found a solution
that will fine-tune their work more efficiently. In
November 2010, they began a program
in conjunction with Christian Reformed World Missions. "They have written a six-module teacher training program
called ‘Educational Care: Caring for God's children.'"
Already complete are three of six modules. These training modules have been written and
field-tested by CRWM and will be distributed to the WWCS network of Christian
schools around the world. Why focus on
training teachers? Many have a limited
formal education in their profession. Dieleman explains that "they may
have a two-year certificate from a teachers' college. A lot of our schools have teachers who are
teaching with even less formal education in their profession."
Dieleman is in charge of getting things ready for the distribution.
"We will be training specifically, out of our office, Master Trainers. Those Master
Trainers, then, after they receive their training on how to use these
particular modules, and how to train the content, will then train others."
It's a time consuming process. After each module, there's a practicum where
the teachers can put the principles to work in the field. As a result, it will take up to three years to
go through all six modules.
After the Master Training is complete, the next generation
can begin. "Local teachers within the
local areas who have this training can then go from school to school, or host
the training in their school or another school, and teachers will come from
the surrounding areas within that district for the training."
The potential for this curriculum is just unfolding. For example, the first module is titled
"Biblical Worldview." It helps teachers to understand their role in
teaching the children the subjects and skills they will need to participate as
informed, mature Christians in many areas of society. The initial module also
helps the trainer and then the teacher to better grasp and renew their own
calling as educators in often difficult situations.
Dieleman describes their goal. "We hope to really build an
entire global network of Master Trainers who relate on that level, as well as down
to the grassroots community level of the teachers in the classroom."
"We're looking for
prayer support on this program to help us to discern where we should be
launching this program, who God would direct toward to be
responsible trainers, as well as those who see this need and may want to
contribute to Educational Care."