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Learning alongside one another

“Good teachers have good skills,” shared a local teacher in Nga. “They are kind. They use a variety of teaching activities, games and storytelling.”

Children follow their teacher in a line into their classroom.

Children are already headed on a positive path thanks to you!

In Nga, your Community Sponsorship is equipping teachers, classrooms and programs – better equipping learning.

It supported 5-day courses for core teachers and 10-day trainings for pre-primary and Grade 1 teachers. These seminars aimed to improve knowledge and skills and assist teachers in developing education materials.

Topics included techniques for teaching the Lao language to children, boosting literacy, developing monitoring tools to track children’s progress, identifying individual learning gaps or challenges, and both reviewing and promoting equality with inclusive classroom methods.

Two teachers sit at a desk and cut out paper drawings.

At the workshops, teachers learned how to craft useful teaching aids.

Additionally, nearly 150 children participated in pre-primary programs this past summer, helping them get a head start before they begin their formal schooling.

“School is very important. If children have a chance to go to pre-school, they gain necessary skills – such as Lao language – for primary school.” – Local Hmong-speaking mother

Children write with pencils in notebooks, doing schoolwork in their classroom.

Every day in the class they followed a routine that includes:

  • Circle time: introducing them to important topics and practices like hygiene
  • Cognitive activities: building on pre-numeracy
  • Art and play: promoting creative growth and socialization, while developing fine motor, language and cooperative skills
  • Reading time: nurturing pre-literacy and a love for books
  • Snack time: the provision of healthy meals help boost their nutrition, energy and attentiveness.

 

Children sit on the carpet at class and enjoy their meal.

 

Today, children are feeling ready to take on Grade 1 – and so are teachers like Mrs. Tem!

  Mrs. Tem worked for years as a primary school teacher. She most enjoys teaching the youngest grades, but only speaking Lao, was unable to overcome the language gap between herself and minority group children entering school for the first time.

This year, things are already changing.

Teacher training and the new pre-primary program enabled Mrs. Tem to better support multiple languages and levels of learning, so now, she can teach Grade 1, like she’s always wanted.

A teacher sits on the ground with young students during the class’ circle time.

Mrs. Tem engages children during a lesson.

Proud to be a part of the program, Mrs. Tem feels she’s benefitted in more ways than one. Her own 5-year-old son enrolled in the program, impressing her with how much he was able to learn in just the first few weeks. Even now, he continues to come home brimming with new words and stories from the day. In many ways, they are learning together.

Already Mrs. Tem can see that children are becoming more fluent in the Lao language, and she feels more confident in her ability to effectively communicate with them. This quick improvement stems from not only the efforts of Mrs. Tem, but her diverse support team, including Mrs. Amkhai, a native Hmong speaker, and Mrs. Lee, a community intern.

A teacher stands with two students holding numbers, and addresses a class as support staff look on.

Mrs. Amkhai introduces a lesson with the day’s two class helpers and support from Mrs. Lee (at right).

Mrs. Amkhai works closely with children who initially struggle with Lao instruction, while Mrs. Lee helps out with classroom materials, working with parents and preparing food for the class.

Like Mrs. Tem, Mrs. Lee’s own son is enrolled in the program. And – as someone who could only ever afford to reach Grade 5 – she is thrilled to give her son the opportunity she never had.  

Hands up! Mrs. Tem motivates students to actively participate in class.

New beginnings are popping up all across pre-primary schools in Nga, thanks to your generous support. And with better starts for students both old and young, so too come brighter futures for children and families of all ages.

Thanks for your part in making change possible.

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