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Liberal Arts student spends summer teaching in Tanzania

Image of Virag teaching

Established in 2006, the Warwick in Africa programme is underpinned by the belief that enhancing education in Africa is a direct route to liberation from poverty. One of the ways that Warwick works in partnership with schools in Africa is to support a volunteer teacher programme. Volunteer teachers are selected from Warwick's best students, alumni and corporate partners, and are hosted by a school in Africa for a 4-6 week placement. Volunteer teachers work alongside local teachers in their classrooms, sharing good practice and supporting each other to try out new ideas. This summer, one of our final year students, Virág Bélavári, who is studying a Sustainable Development and Education Policy Pathway on her degree, spent 6 weeks teaching English in a rural secondary school in Mtwara, Tanzania.

Virág's experience

"As I have been learning about systems and making a sustainable impact on my course for two years now, I found my experience with Warwick in Africa not only a challenging and rewarding experience on a personal level, but also an edifying field trip academically and career-wise.

"The programme is currently running in Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa with the aim to transform education in impoverished areas, to make it more engaging and encouraging for both students, teachers and local communities. One part of the work is supporting local lead teachers to design and deliver high impact teacher workshops to their peers; the other part is the volunteering programme that I was involved in.

I went with the hope to create a lasting impact, which can only happen through working together with local teachers

"This experience improved my confidence hugely in teaching and taking on leadership roles even when there is a lot of uncertainty involved. However, I didn't just participate to find learning opportunities (and a lot of joy) in doing some fun activities with young people whom I sadly had to leave behind. Instead, I went with the hope to create a lasting impact, which can only happen through working together with local teachers, understanding each other’s culture and norms, identifying needs and setting up projects -like the drama club which I initiated and led for a month- that will continue taking place after we have left."

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Warwick in Africa 2018

The Liberal Arts Department were also involved in Warwick in Africa last year. Marco Casanova, a first year student at the time, worked as a Volunteer Teacher in Agona East, Ghana. Dr Kirsten Harris also took the opportunity to get involved, collaborating with South African Lead Teachers to deliver a professional development workshop for English teachers in the Soweto area. Read more here.

To find out more about Warwick in Africa, visit the website.