Southeast Asia (MNN) — Education is often put on the back burner in Southeast Asia.
Less than half of the kids in Indonesia make it to secondary school, according to Nation Master. In Cambodia, there’s one elementary teacher for every 50 children.
Dale Dieleman with Worldwide Christian Schools (WWCS) says there isn’t enough value for teachers in these countries. “Teachers are generally the lowest paid of almost every profession and often do not receive salaries for months at an end.”
WWCS launched their summer Educational Care program last month to train and encourage teachers in Southeast Asia. The first week of training was held in Indonesia, and around 35 trainees attended. Week two took place in Cambodia with over 25 teachers participated.
To put on the Educational Care program, WWCS is working with another host organizational program of educators. Teachers in Southeast Asia use a variety of curricula from places like the United States or Great Britain. Because of this, the program doesn’t focus on one curriculum.
Dieleman explains, “The emphasis is not so much on how to teach math better, or science or language arts, but it’s on Christian education: how to be an effective Christian in the classroom and how to bring the compassion and love of Christ to your students, to the families they represent, and also how the school itself can be salt and light in the community it serves.”
The Educational Care program communicates that teaching is a form of ministry calling from God. “What teachers that I encounter in these trainings really desire most is encouragement,” says Dieleman, “particularly if they’re serving in a country that is predominantly a religion other than Christianity. In the two countries I mentioned–Indonesia and Cambodia–this is the case. And the Christian teachers who are there really need this kind of encouragement and mentoring.”
What do these teachers need from you? Dieleman says, “Just prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to encourage them in their chosen profession.”
WWCS still needs $2,000 to fully fund the Educational Care program. Click here to donate.