The oldest IB World School in Africa is sending volunteer educators to help teachers in the Kakuma refugee camp complete the first stage of their teaching qualification.
By Florence Larpent
The Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya is home to 183,543 people including a majority of school-age children. In the camp, one teacher can be teaching up to 200 students at a time and education is the only way out. The camp was created in 1992 for those fleeing conflict in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. Since then, it has grown to nearly four times its intended capacity of 58,000 and the camp is in need of qualified teachers to teach the growing number of refugee children.
In response to this crisis, a teacher training programme has been set up as an online blended learning platform to train new secondary teachers in the Kakuma refugee camp. The training programme is a shared initiative between the International School of Moshi (ISM), Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Windle Trust, Xavier Projects, UNHCR, UNESCO and Moi University in Nairobi.
As a teacher working at International School Moshi in Tanzania, I am particularly concerned with the education crisis taking place in East African refugee camps such as Kakuma. Along with other ISM teachers, I volunteer as a mentor for the teacher training programme to help refugee teachers in the camp complete the first stage of their teaching qualification. I guide them through a four-month online course introducing them to teaching techniques, classroom management, student and staff welfare. Besides the regular pedagogy, there are also specific modules such as ‘Dealing with traumatized students’ that address the challenges of teaching refugee students. In addition to the online mentoring, there are opportunities for face-to-face training workshops at Kakuma refugee camp.
Florence Larpent is the MYP Coordinator at International School Moshi (Arusha Campus), the oldest IB World School in Africa situated at the bottom of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. As a ground-breaking school, ISM is now on a journey to become a United World College (UWC), being only the second in Africa after Swaziland, representing UWC’s values of peace and cultural understanding.
Learn more about the IB’s work in the region at ibo.org/Africa.