Teacher Training School ADPP Benguela
Teacher Training School Benguela has been training teachers for more than 20 years. Since the first team began in 1997, the school has graduated 1,376 primary school teachers, around one third of whom are female. 28 out of the 76 graduates from Team 2017 were female. During 2020, there were three teams of students following their respective programmes. Team 2018 was in the final year of training and the students went to 16 rural schools to spend the academic year as teachers and community activists, working in the classroom, implementing projects and carrying out activities for the benefit of their host communities. They took study tasks with them and began preparing ideas for pedagogical research.
Team 2019, in their 2nd Year of training, began gaining teaching experience at five local primary schools, ran extracurricular activities for pupils and completed studies and courses according to their curriculum.
The new students, who formed Team 2020, spent the first weeks preparing for what should have been their 12-week study trip, in addition to resolving study tasks, attending courses and participating in community activities.
All three programmes were altered with the closing of schools in response to the Covid- 19 pandemic. Educational activities continued, however, with students receiving study tasks at their homes and returning them to the school for evaluation. A number of 3rd Year students remained in the communities where they were undertaking long-term teaching practice. The responses of the school to this unprecedented situation are explained in the report below. The key achievement in the first semester of 2020 was the establishment of a system of distance learning, together with the monitoring of students’ progress. Other achievements were the number of students enrolled and initial figures for pupils benefiting from the presence of Team 2018 and Team 2019.
Teacher Training School Benguela established systems for distance learning when the State of Emergency closed all schools. On Mondays, the teachers prepared study tasks and Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays were earmarked as days for getting in touch and sending the tasks. There were no courses during this period, nor was evaluation of the students’ work undertaken. The teachers undertook mobilisation and awareness raising in the communities around the school, distributing more than 2,000 leaflets about Covid-19. In many of the districts visited, no one yet knew anything about the disease as it was so new. Meanwhile, the students installed tippy taps at home and in their neighbourhoods for hand washing. At the school itself, the teachers looked after the vegetable garden and infrastructures. There were four guards to ensure security. The director participated in meetings with the local authorities during which updated information about Covid-19 was passed on together with information about how to prepare for the restart of classes.