Meet Martin Momoda, Teacher Training Coordinator for Pencils of Promise Laos.
Martin has been living and working in Laos for the past eight years. Originally trained in TESOL and curriculum development, he has long tried to improve the quality of education (particularly English literacy) in southeast Asia. Now working for PoP, he is finally seeing his years of work pay off in beautiful ways.
He has managed to bridge an educational gap by utilizing unconventional methods in the classroom through a comprehensive teacher training program. Some elements of this program include training the teachers how to use rhythm, song, and dance to enhance student engagement and Lao Sign Language (even for the hearing students) as a motor memory tool for literacy. Most importantly, it’s working.
PoP has a thorough monitoring process to verify that the quality of education has improved for the students enrolled in our schools. Some of the lowest-ranking PoP schools in Laos have improved by 30-60% as a result of higher student engagement and understanding. Given the cultural and language divide in Laos, this is astounding. Naturally, there is hope that similar success can be reached here in Ghana.
Martin is visiting me for the next two weeks, during which time I am fortunate enough to host him around our lovely Volta Region, identify some of the challenges in the Ghana education system, and hopefully open some doors for creative improvement. Five days into his visit, and we have already collected a great deal of exciting information.
Expect more updates as Martin and I travel and learn.