Secondary Education Science Teacher

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Cameroon’s Science Teaching Program has three main goals:

1. Improve teaching by working with teachers to improve student-centered instructional practices
2. Improve students' Math and Science proficiency and leadership in and out of the classroom
3. Engage community members to participate in student learning

Science teachers work in middle/high school level settings in rural areas of Cameroon. Volunteers teach a minimum of 14 hours per week in math, biology, chemistry or physics. Science teachers create and facilitate clubs (Science/Environment club, English club, Girls clubs, IT club etc.) in and out of schools. Some Science teaching Volunteers may find themselves teaching English as a secondary project. Volunteers work collaboratively with fellow teachers to integrate techniques in content-based instruction, improve student-centered gender equitable teaching techniques and develop teaching resources using local materials.

Peace Corps Cameroon promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will meet 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

Desired Skills

Most successful candidates will have the following relevant qualifications and qualities:

• Prior teaching experience
• Ability to teach large classes
• Experience designing educational content

Required Language Skills

Romance Language - Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.

A. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance language
B. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in a Romance language
C. Native/Fluent Romance language speaker

Candidates should have either a willingness to take a French course or commitment to self‐study and a subsequent placement test (score of 50 on the French College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

French is necessary to travel safely and to interact effectively in Cameroon. Due to this, all Volunteers will have to attain a functional French level by the end of training. It is expected that Education Volunteers learn a second language (in addition to French) that is widely used in the local community.

Living Conditions

Living conditions vary greatly depending on the region of the country in which you work. You may live in a village (300 people) or a small (2,000 people) to medium sized town (10,000 people). Some posts are far away from larger cities (100 kilometers or more) and traveling in and out can be difficult because of bad roads. Some posts, however, are located along paved roads. Usually minibuses ("bush taxis") and transport vans go to all parts of the country. Housing styles vary widely depending on the community in which you work. Your house may have concrete walls or mud bricks and a tin roof. A typical Volunteer house is made up of a sitting room, 1 - 2 bedrooms and a kitchen. Some Volunteers have running water and/or electricity while others do not. In rural areas you will be more likely to use kerosene lamps for light, collect your water from rain barrels or a near-by well, and use outdoor latrines. Peace Corps will furnish you with a water filter, mosquito netting and a medical kit. You will also receive a settling-in allowance to purchase items that you need to set up your house. You must be flexible in your housing expectations, and be ready to work in areas with no electricity or where the electricity supply is irregular as these are the areas with the most need.

Local foods such as maize, rice, plantains, beans, cassava and okra provide the bulk of the diet but meat or smoked fish and seasonal fruit and vegetables are also available in most areas. Some canned and imported western foods and products will be available in towns or in the larger regional capitals but they are expensive.

About 80 percent of the country has cellphone coverage, so you’ll likely be able to make and receive calls at your post. Internet, although not reliable, can also be available using a modem/Internet key or in cyber cafés in towns and cities.

Due to tensions created by socio-economic factors, the incidence of crime in Cameroon has increased. You should prepare yourself for these conditions. The best insurance against theft is the establishment of social links with your co-workers and members of your community who are genuinely concerned about your welfare. Being tolerant, patient and having a sense of humor can go a long way in helping you adjust to the joys and frustrations at post. You will receive extensive training on staying safe in Cameroon during pre-service training.

You will be for many, the symbol of American culture. Your behavior may be taken as an example of a "typical American". Often, you will find yourself confronting questions and suspicions that have been formed by years of stereotypes about the US.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Cameroon: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Cameroon

  • Cameroon may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; insulin-dependent diabetes; mammography; some types of gynecologic support; seizure disorder; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified. 
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten, lactose, peanuts and shellfish.
  • After arrival in Cameroon, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Cameroon is host to a set of tropical diseases known as filariasis. The types of most concern to Peace Corps Volunteers are Onchocerciasis and Loa Loa. There are no preventive medications, but reducing the number of insect bites lowers the risk of infection. This can be done with wearing long sleeves/pants and applying insect repellent. Volunteers are screened for infection during and at the end of service through blood testing. Your medical team will further discuss filariasis with you during training.

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

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