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Education Sector: English Education Teachers, Literacy Promoters, Secondary Math Educators, High School Science Teachers

Peace Corps Volunteers who serve in the Education (ED) sector play a role in the future of local communities by working with schools, communities, parents, and students to enhance the teaching of math, science, English, and literacy—or by training others to teach more effectively.

Education is a pathway to the global economy for people in developing nations and has a greater impact—particularly for girls—on reducing poverty than many other development initiatives. In most developing countries, few children graduate from secondary school and many do not even finish primary school. In Ghana, for example, only 50 percent of children complete the fifth grade, and
of those, less than half can comprehend a simple paragraph (1).

Literacy Volunteers work on the elementary level, ensuring that students are both “reading to learn” and “learning to read” through:
• direct student teaching
• working with counterparts to increase their skills in literacy teaching
• working with the families of students to provide home support for school literacy
• facilitating the creation and management of libraries

Math and Science Volunteers provide direct teaching in math and science subjects so that students can:
• apply math and science to the natural world and their community
• see themselves as people who use math and science (especially girls)
• prepare for employment that supports their country’s economy
• work with counterparts to share their teaching techniques and to create resources for teaching math and science based on low-cost, local, resources
• increase community awareness of math and science by facilitating events that bring families to the school (such as science fairs and“mathaletes” contests)

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Volunteers work across grades 3-13, using communicative, student centered approaches to make language learning fun and meaningful. In addition they provide:
• extracurricular opportunities to practice English including camps and clubs
• training to counterparts in both English proficiency and teaching techniques
• opportunities to engage families in their students’ learning through spelling bees, English plays or skits, and English classes for community members

In Fiscal Year 2018 ED Volunteers:
• taught 422,874 students across 50 countries
• engaged in either co-teaching or teacher communities of practice with over 20,343 counterpart teachers
• facilitated school/community events to improve student learning or school facilities where over 26,477 community members participated

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(1) 1 Epstein, Mark and Yuthas, Kristi. Winter 2012. “Redefining Education in the Developing World.” Stanford Social Innovation Review. Volume 10, Number 1.