Secondary Education Science or Math Teacher
Cameroon has staked its vision for economic growth and technological advancement on Math/Science teaching in schools, with a special focus on promoting girls’ empowerment. To meet this vision, the country is transitioning from a teacher-centered education system to a student-centered competency-based system. Cameroon’s Math and Science Teaching Program has one goal and four objectives:
Goal: Students attain math and science skills to access academic and/or professional opportunities in science and technology
• Increase the capacity of teachers in general, critical thinking, and/or STEM teaching skills
• Increase the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable teaching practices
• Increase achievement of students in math and/or science
• Increase the ability of community members to support students’ access to learning
Math and Science teachers work in middle/high school level settings in rural and semi-rural areas in bilingual [French-English] schools in French-speaking regions of Cameroon. Volunteers work with students, teaching a minimum of 14 hours per week one or two of the following subjects: math, physics, biology, chemistry, geology or statistics for classes one to five (equivalent to U.S. grades six to ten), using the national curriculum and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) approach. Volunteers also organize out-of-classroom activities such as visiting a farm or water recycling facility, tutoring sessions, math/science clubs, science fairs, academic bowls, and girls’ technology camps.
Math/Science Volunteers work with their fellow teachers to facilitate formal or informal communities of practice to share techniques for general, critical thinking, and/or STEM teaching skills. They engage in model teaching and/or peer observation; plan and facilitate teacher workshops; design, adapt, and pilot learning materials; and implement techniques to promote gender equity in classrooms.
Volunteers also perform outreach, organizing activities that involve the community in student learning, such as science fairs and math competitions; they also train community members on techniques that increase student access to learning, such as menstrual hygiene management, positive masculinity, and safe latrines.
Volunteers are encouraged to perform cross-sector work with other Peace Corps programs. Thus Education Volunteers are expected to work with Health Volunteers to create health clubs in schools and teach health-related topics to students including reproductive health, life skills, and prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. They also work closely with Agriculture Volunteers and carry out activities aiming to combat malnutrition in their communities through the promotion of the cultivation/production and consumption of soybeans, moringa, mushrooms, and orange-flesh sweet potatoes.
To facilitate your successful service, Peace Corps has adapted tools to help you perform a needs assessment in a culturally appropriate way that gives you information about the needs of the community in relation to your program goal and objectives. Two of the most important key success factors are spending as much time as possible in your community to help you develop and maintain meaningful relations with community members and your ability to communicate in the local language.
During Pre-Service Training (PST), Volunteers will participate in 11 weeks of training on technical, cross-cultural, language, medical and safety and security aspects within the rural Cameroonian context. Peace Corps staff will measure your achievement to determine if you have successfully achieved competencies before swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.
Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with concentration in any science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with secondary certification in science
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any physical science or any biological science or equivalent
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with a minor or equivalent (15 semester/22 quarter hours) in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics
The most successful candidates will have the following relevant qualifications and qualities:
• Prior teaching experience;
• Experience designing educational content;
• Ability to adapt and use different classroom management techniques
Required Language Skills
There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.
Experience with or knowledge of a Romance language is preferred but not required.
Cameroon is often referred to as “Africa in miniature” due to its great cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity. About 250 ethnic groups speak 200+ indigenous languages. Volunteer assignments are concentrated in French-speaking regions; in 2023, Volunteers will be based in Adamawa, Centre, East, Littoral, and South. As a result of current political unrest and security issues, Volunteer placements and travel are restricted in the English-speaking regions (Northwest and Southwest) as well as the West and the Northern regions (North and Far North).
Since 1962, Peace Corps has worked collaboratively with Cameroon to promote peace and friendship. Host communities range in population from about 300-40,000 inhabitants. Volunteers must be flexible, resilient, and willing to live in modest conditions without electricity or running water, and with limited access to the internet and cell phone coverage. Housing in each site is normally similar to that of other community members, built with cement blocks or mud and roofed with tin. Some toilets are outdoor latrines. Kerosene lamps are used for lighting, and drinking water is collected from nearby faucets, bore holes, or wells. Some Volunteers may be placed in family compounds, with the Volunteer having their own room. Volunteers receive medical supplies plus a “settling-in” allowance to set up their houses. In most communities, there are small stores and markets where you can buy basic household items, food staples and vegetables and fruits. Transportation to and from your site may be challenging at times, especially during the rainy season. Motorbikes and “bush taxis” are the most common means of transportation in most communities.
Volunteers in Cameroon may face challenges based on their gender, race, sexual orientation or other traits. Many Cameroonian women have very traditional roles. As a result, North American women may not be able to exercise the freedoms to which they are accustomed. In addition, it is common for women to receive stares, comments, and requests for dates or sex. Female Volunteers receive cultural education and skill building to develop strategies to handle these situations (as do male Volunteers who do not conform to the “macho” image expected of them).
Because of limited exposure to the diversity of the U.S., some Cameroonians may expect all U.S. citizens to be white. For Volunteers, the range of responses to their skin color may vary greatly: from being mistaken for a host country national to being questioned about their citizenship. These encounters can be turned into teachable moments for the Volunteer and the host country national.
Many countries have restrictive cultures with regard to sexual orientation and non-conforming gender identities. LGBTQI+ Volunteers are welcomed within Peace Corps Cameroon, and many have served here successfully. It is important, however, that applicants review State Department cautions for LGBTQ travelers and be aware that culturally, LGBTQI+ individuals are often not accepted by Cameroonian communities. Due to safety concerns, LGBTQI+ Volunteers are advised not to serve openly in this country. We recognize the challenges that having to withhold aspects of one’s identity may cause for Volunteers; thus we are committed as Peace Corps staff to do our best to support you.
All Volunteers should be mindful of the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Peace Corps context. You will receive training on intercultural competence, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility during your Peace Corps training, and encouraged to be an ally to your fellow Volunteers.
Job Location: Most Education Volunteers are assigned to teach in a middle or high school, which will likely be in a rural or semi-rural village (700-4,000 inhabitants).
Serving in Cameroon
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Cameroon: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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