JICA strengthens capacity of Mathematics and Science Teachers

Teachers from three states, headteachers, Director Generals of schools and partners from JICA pose for a photo after the training/Photo: Adia Jildo

By Adia Jildo

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with the Ministry of General Education and Instructions has trained teachers in three states of Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria and Western Bahr-el Ghazal on strengthening the learning of mathematics and science.

Materials have been developed to ease the learning so as to improve on the performance of pupils and ease teaching.

The program is on its third phase which was disrupted due to Covid-19 lockdown.

Mary Lokina Vigilio, a teacher of Naduru Nursery and Primary school said teaching had been affected by the lack of apparatus.

She cited that low payment is another result hence low turn up by teachers to help in teaching the pupils.

“Lack of materials and apparatus makes learning difficult for most children to learn,” she said.

Moses Marko Tagia, a teacher at Yambio Primary school said most provided books are kept in library hence making it hard for teachers to learn simpler and easier way of teaching.

“We raised a complaint about the books being kept in library, then it was brought late and when it was brought, we continued to teach. Some of the performances were very poor while others were good,” he said.

The head teacher of Gracia Nursery and Primary school Kinosa Richard said the new skills offered to empower learning will help students.

“We are lacking qualified teachers, so if teachers are not trained where do you expect good results from,” Kinosa said, complaining about recruitment polices in the states.

He said recruitment of teachers should be on merits which have reached the standards of being a teacher.

“We have just been recruiting teachers because we have need. This time round we are going to train teachers basically for mathematics and sciences,” he emphasized.

He said most learning is done theoretically which does not give learners a view of what they have learnt.

The undersecretary of the Ministry of General Education Dr. Kuyok Abol Kuyok in his statement said training of teachers will have a long term impact on the education sector in South Sudan.

The minister said shortage of mathematics and science teachers has left some areas without learners attaining knowledge from the subjects.

“We need science teachers to be able to inspire students to become the next engineers and doctors in this country,” he said.

He said the transition of Arabic to English has also affected the performance of the students in some states where they were taught in Arabic.

“Every subject has its own language. We would want you to take the concepts to make teachers to be aware about it,” he said.

He called on the teachers to use the learning material to impact the education system to learn through experiments.

He cited that there had been reports in the improvement of the mathematics and science due to the simplified learning material provided in some areas during the k-study.

JICA chief representative Mr. Sagara Fukuyu said the training that has been given to teachers is meant to support the capacity of the teachers.

“SMASESS embark on development of learning programs for self-development for learning of mathematics and sciences in primary schools,” he said.

He encourages the teachers to use the equipment to develop the materials in learning stating that the materials will be used and protected by learning institutions.

“The government of Japan always chooses to see the sustainability of the outcome even after the projects come to an end. I believe all stakeholders will continue to use learners’ central approach as indicated in South Sudan learning curriculum,” he said.

The SMASESS phase one project started in 2009 that focused on self-learning materials for primary schools’ pupils.

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