The Little Teacher
Faith, 13, is an avid reader even at a young age. Eventually, she learns she has a skill in writing as well that when she became a high school student, she joined their campus paper. “Me and my editorial team write about everything about school events. Our paper is released once a year,” Faith says.
From being a Sportswriter, Faith became a Sports editor, a task she relishes.
In one of the events she was covering, a teacher approached her and ask her if she would also join a young teacher’s group called Voyager, which has 30 members. “It’s a group of students who teach other students, especially those having difficulty reading, to learn how to read,” Faith, whose parents are both high school teachers, says.
On her first role as a young teacher, she learns the sad reality about other students. “I saw how some students find it difficult to read something that I can read easily. Or that some students are too slow to read simple sentences or words. Now I understand why they cannot fully participate in class reading. I thought they were just lazy to read,” Faith shares.
Voyager members undergo training or orientation on how to become a better little teacher. “We can use games, puppets, or tell stories of interest to them. This way, I will catch their attention and they would remember and become interested in our lesson.”
Collaboration is key
The Philippines has come a long way in terms of improving education in the country. Though not yet at par with other countries, numbers would show that the education efforts has made an impact to most children. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) available figures show literacy rate has improved to 91.79% in the early 80s from a dismal 20% prior to World War 1.
One of the Philippine intervention on education is the Every Child a Reader Program (ECARP) that the Department of Education implements in 2011. ECAPR is an early literacy intervention to address reading and writing difficulties among students. Under the program, schools are tasked to provide literacy-related activities to children to cope with the performance of their classmates.
World Vision has been supportive of the Philippine government’s goal to improve children’s literacy by collaborating with parents, volunteers, and communities to improve learning in school, after school, and at home. The organization teaches responsible parenting and literacy building to parents and community members.
World Vision improves a child’s access to education through three programs: The Culture of Reading includes components on improving parents’ capacity to care for and support their child’s learning. We promote reading activities to hone children’s reading skills and their love for books. The Life Skills Model organizes children in groups to link them with other children their age while developing their skills. The Child Protection Advocacy focuses on strengthening the child protection system on both formal and non-formal elements at the community level.
A joy to see
Faith has been enjoying being a Voyager despite the problems she encounters. Tutoring for two years, Faith has seen the improvement among her students. As a matter of fact, 5 out of her 7 students had graduated from her schools reading program. Reaching graduation means that a student showed great improvement on his/her reading skill.
“I feel happy whenever I see a student march on stage. It’s a joy to see him/her reads faster than before. That, for me, is my greatest achievement,” she says.
Faith’s experience in Voyager makes her want to become a teacher someday to, as she says, “to continue helping more children.”
World Vision, September 8, 2018
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.