Here are a few of the questions that we are most often asked about the teaching programme. If you have any further queries than just e-mail us on [email protected].
- Where will I be placed in Lesotho?
- What are the programme dates?
- What about training and preparation?
- How do I apply
- What will be expected of me?
- What about accommodation?
- What level of English will the students have?
- What kind of support will I receive?
- What about Visas, insurance and vaccinations?
Participants will be placed in the same town in Lesotho outside the capital city. For the 2015 programme we will be returning to Quthing District about 4 hours drive from the capital in the south west of Lesotho.
Are the dates fixed or is there some choice?
The programme follows the Lesotho academic year, which begins in January next year. The teachers will fly to Lesotho about a week before the term begins for a few days’ orientation in the capital city and in your new home town. Exact start dates will be confirmed in November. You will be teaching in Lesotho between January and June with another fortnight in Wales on return.
Dolen Cymru offers all teachers accepted on this programme a training programme specially tailored towards their needs. The training programme involves four separate courses, the first two in Cardiff and the second two delivered after arrival in Lesotho.
1. Introductory Training Course:
Delivered by Dolen Cymru/Lesotho Wales Link staff in October. This training course serves as an introduction to the programme and the partner organisations and an ice-breaking/team-building event. Sessions include Sesotho language lessons, health and safety (HIV, travel vaccinations etc), roles and responsibilities, what to take, preparation work, a Q&A session with returned teachers, and introduction to Basotho culture.
2. Pre-Departure Training Course:
Delivered by experienced staff in November. This training focuses on the professional development of the teachers, awareness raising of development issues, coping strategies for working in a new environment (e.g. dealing with large and multi-level classes, teaching through the medium of a second language), supporting teacher development (mentoring, classroom observation etc) and teaching ESDGC on their return.
3. On-Arrival Course
Delivered by partners in Lesotho in January. This training is delivered on the teachers’ second day in Lesotho and focuses more sharply on the local context. Sesotho language is incorporated throughout and a session is done on Basotho culture. The training also focuses on the development context in Lesotho (HIV/AIDS, political situation and the economy) and the impact these have on education. The Lesotho education system is examined in detail and a meeting was set up with the work placement supervisors to agree aims and objectives of the placements.
4. Further Training (after a month)
This will take place in country and will be tailored o the needs of the group.
What happens after my application has been accepted?
Download the application form. Complete the form and return it along with a current CV to Dolen Cymru by the next application deadline. If you are short listed you will be called to Cardiff for an assessment day. If you pass this you will then be called to interview and will be told within a week whether you have been accepted for the programme.
Any offer of a place on the programme will be subjected to satisfactory references and medical checks. You will also be required to undergo an Enhanced CRB Disclosure
It is usual for foreign teachers to work with whole classes, on average around 40-50 students, although it can be higher than this. You will be invited to contribute your own ideas as well as follow set courses.
Your accommodation will be arranges by Dolen Cymru’s office in Lesotho. You will share a house with other teachers from Wales. The standard of the houses will be high in comparison with local norms. All houses will have electricity (usually on a meter), running water, a flushing toilet and cooking facilities. The houses will usually be within walking distance to your school. The cost of accommodation is likely to be around £100 - £120 per month and is not covered by the programme
Pupils are taught English from an early age in Primary schools and the higher classes in many Primary schools will be taught through the medium of English. Most Secondary schools in Lesotho teach only through the medium of English. However, it is important not to forget that English is a second language in Lesotho and there will be some barriers to communication. TEFL skills will come in useful as will some basic Sesotho. You will be given introductory Sesotho lessons at every stage of your training.
Each group will be accompanied by a mentor, a person who will be responsible for supporting their professional development and for ensuring their wellbeing. The group mentor is Dolen Cymru’s representative on the ground but will also be a part of the team, working part-time at a school and living with the teachers. You will also be supported by the Dolen Cymru staff in Lesotho and members of Lesotho Wales Link, Dolen Cymru’s partner organisation in Lesotho. They will be on hand to give advice, liaise with the schools and local officials and offer you excellent support throughout your stay there
You will be issued with a volunteer's resident permit after arrival. Your passport will however need to be valid for at least six months after the date of entry. You will be covered by Dolen Cymru’s insurance policy for all activities during your stay with the exceptions of risky activities such as rock climbing or skiing.
There is no malaria in Lesotho and it is recommended that you visit your GP surgery for current advice on vaccinations. You will also be asked to completed an online health questionnaire which is completely confidential, administered by a company called Interhealth.