Secondary Education Science or Math Teacher

Project Description

Can you imagine yourself in a lively rural classroom teaching Math, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Statistics, or Geology to high school students? Or working with your fellow teachers to design more interactive teaching and learning materials? If so, Peace Corps is seeking applicants like you who have the passion to join the ranks of nearly 4,000 volunteers who have served in Cameroon since 1962.

Cameroon has staked its vision for economic growth and technological advancement on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching in schools, with a special focus on empowering young women. To meet this vision, the country is transitioning to a more interactive student-centered, competency-based system which places the learner at the center of the education experience. The goal of the Math and Science Education program is for students to attain the necessary skills to access academic and/or professional opportunities in science and technology. The key objectives of the program include:
• increasing teachers’ capacity to teach general and STEM skills and gender-equitable teaching practices;
• increasing students’ achievement in Math and/or Science; and
• increasing community members’ ability to support students’ access to learning.

Math and Science Volunteers work in bilingual (French-English) middle and high schools, equivalent of U.S. grades six to ten, in rural and semi-rural areas in French-speaking regions of Cameroon. The schools range in size from 100 to over 1,000 students. Volunteers teach a minimum of 14 hours per week in one or two of the following subjects: math, physics, biology, chemistry, geology or statistics to students using a national curriculum. Volunteers also co-organize out-of-classroom activities such as planting a school garden, or visiting a farm or water recycling facility, tutoring sessions, math/science clubs, science fairs, academic bowls, and girls’ technology camps.

Math/Science Volunteers work collaboratively with fellow teachers in communities of practice , sharing strategies for effective general, critical thinking, and STEM teaching. They engage in model teaching and peer observation; plan and facilitate teacher workshops; design, adapt, and pilot learning materials; and implement techniques to promote gender equity in classrooms.

Education Volunteers teach a variety of topics either in the classroom or in extracurricular activities with their counterpart or fellow teachers. Some of these topics include life skills, reproductive health, prevention of HIV, and school gardens to promote the cultivation and consumption of nutritious crops. Education Volunteers often collaborate with community members with expertise in these topics, as well as fellow Agriculture and Community Health Volunteers.

Volunteers also work with their counterparts to organize learning opportunities that involve the community such as soap making, mushroom production, science fairs and math competitions. They also co-facilitate trainings for community members to increase their access to learning, such as menstrual hygiene management, positive masculinity, safe latrines and safe pathways to walk to school.

During Pre-Service Training, you will receive technical training in STEM education, and you’ll practice your teaching skills in a model school setting. Once you arrive at your site, you’ll work with your counterpart (typically and fellow teacher at your school) and community members to perform an initial a needs assessment to identify the community's assets, needs and priorities using Peace Corps-developed tools. Among the keys to success will be integrating into the life of your community.

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.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in Math/Science and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with concentration in any science and/or mathematics
• 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.

Desired Skills

The most successful candidates will have the following relevant qualifications and qualities
• Prior teaching, co-teaching, or tutoring experience.
• Experience organizing extracurricular activities
• Experience leading or co-leading professional development workshops for teachers on the topics of curriculum development, assessments and editing
• Demonstrated experience in planning and organizing activities for children and young adults.
• Demonstrated independence, self-initiative, flexibility, open-mindedness, resilience, and a commitment to serve
• A strong willingness to learn French and a local language of Cameroon.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

While many people in Cameroon speak English, in the regions where Peace Corps operates. French is the predominate language and necessary to travel safely and interact effectively with colleagues, neighbors and others. Trainees will receive over 100 hours of French language training and all Trainees will be required to attain a functional French level (“Intermediate-Mid”) by the end of Pre-Service Training (PST). Volunteers posted in the Adamawa Region will also be expected to learn some Fulfulde during PST. No benchmark is set for Fulfulde, but Volunteers are encouraged to leave training with at least survival communication skills.

For Education volunteers, the language of instruction is English; however, some of your students will have few or no skills in English, making interactions challenging. Having a good level in French will ease communication with other faculty members, students and parents.

Indigenous languages in Cameroon are quite localized. For easy integration and a successful service, Volunteers will be expected to learn basic communication skills in the local language of their site during the first year of service and will be provided with resources to do so. Volunteers are also provided with additional learning opportunities to continue improving their French skills and after they go to their sites.

Living Conditions

Volunteer assignments are in the French-speaking regions of Cameroon. Host communities range from approximately 300 to 40,000 inhabitants. Cameroon’s climate has a dry season and two rainy seasons; it can be hot and muggy or more temperate or cool at higher elevations. Volunteer housing is modest and varies from site to site and region to region. Houses are usually built with cement blocks and zinc roofs. Houses may have inside toilet and shower areas, but most have nearby or attached access to a private pit latrine and bathing area. Many houses do not have electricity or running water. Volunteers may need to use solar lamps for lighting. Water may have to be collected from nearby water sources. All water must be filtered before drinking and filters will be provided. While most Volunteers may have limited or no access to the internet or cell phone coverage at their house, all Volunteer houses are within a 30-minute walk of cell phone coverage. A basic cell phone can be purchased by Volunteers using their Settling-in Allowance, but it is recommended that Volunteers bring their own tablet or laptop for use at site or in a larger town or city. Settling-in allowance also allows Volunteers to buy furniture and set up their houses. Volunteers must be flexible, resilient, and prepared to adapt to the above-mentioned living conditions.

Your diet will include foods such as rice, or various pastes made of cassava, cornmeal, plantains. This is often served with a sauce made of tomato or greens and meat or fish. In most communities, there are markets where you can buy basic household items, food staples and fresh vegetables and fruits. Some may need to travel to another town to buy supplies. Vegetarians will face some challenges but should be able to maintain their diet.

Transportation to and from your site may be challenging at times, especially during the rainy season. Depending on the location of your site, You’ll likely travel by foot, motorbikes (as a passenger only), “bush taxis”, buses or train. You may request a bicycle from Peace Corps. Volunteers quickly observe that personal appearance is important to people in Cameroon. During Pre-Service Training (PST), the standard professional dress code is business casual. Following PST, when you are placed in the community, you will need to dress appropriately for socializing in the community and for work. Respecting Cameroonian culture and tradition by dressing appropriately helps you gain respect in your host community. It will also facilitate integration and increase your credibility and effectiveness.

Religion plays a central role in the lives of most Cameroonians. You may be assigned to a majority Christian or majority Muslim community. You may be asked to participate in religious or other traditional ceremonies. During PST you’ll have the opportunity to explore how you might respond to such situations.

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 Cameroonian to being questioned about their citizenship. These encounters can be turned into teachable moments for the Volunteer and the Cameroonian.

Though people in Cameroon are generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity are conservative and there are restrictive laws that target certain sexual behaviors. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during PST and identify some potential support mechanisms for Trainees and Volunteers.

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.

Couples Information

During pre-service training, we will try to accommodate couples living with the same host family, but we cannot guarantee that you will be housed in the same location. However, you will be able to live with your spouse during your service. Cameroon cannot accommodate couples within the same sector, and sector-specific technical training may be in different locations (but all trainees will come together for core training sessions). The exception to this rule is that we can accommodate a limited number of Math/Science and English Volunteers serving in the same site. Your partner must qualify and apply for:

Agriculture Extension
Community Health Educator/Community Health Specialist
Secondary Education Math or Science Teacher

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. At this time, Peace Corps Cameroon is only able to accept heterosexual couples. During the application process recruiters and placement officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit:

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

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