Secondary Education Science Teacher

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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. Every science teacher will lead multidisciplinary projects with teachers and students and use these projects to explain science concepts. Some Science teaching Volunteers may find themselves teaching English or IT 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.

Literacy is one of the lynchpin activities of the Education program. A Volunteer will be required to integrate literacy into content based instruction in a way that will facilitate learning. Peace Corps Cameroon has selected a few literacy techniques that will be implemented throughout service, irrespective of the levels/grades being taught. Every year, on a specified period, a Volunteer will organize community wide activities aimed at improving reading and building a culture of reading. These activities culminate in the Peace Corps Cameroon ‘Drop Everything and Read’ (DEAR) day.

Peace Corps Cameroon promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on how to incorporate gender in your activities and you will have the opportunity to implement transformative gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. In your classroom, you will be expected to develop or adapt gender equitable classroom practices and share these with other faculty members as part of an effort to create safer and more student-friendly schools. You will also have the opportunity to work with your community members to implement one-off high impact projects to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency.

Peace Corps Cameroon also encourages cross-sector work with the other program sectors (Health and Agriculture) and takes an integrated approach to HIV AIDS. All Volunteers are expected to carry out HIV related activities. Education Volunteers integrate HIV in their regular classroom content and in their clubs both in and out of school. In collaboration with the community, Volunteers will mobilize adolescent girls and boys and link them to available HIV testing services. Education Volunteers can collaborate with Health Volunteers in related activities to mobilize the school community for activities around the World AIDS Day. In collaboration with the Agriculture program, Education Volunteers can promote school gardens as a tool for both learning and encouraging entrepreneurial skills in students. Other cross-sector collaboration opportunities include mushroom production, nutrition training, malaria prevention activities, etc.

Monitoring Reporting and Evaluation (MRE) is an integral part of Volunteer service in Peace Corps Cameroon. Volunteers are expected to routinely track, document and report all activities to their Program mangers using tools and resources that will be made available once you arrive at post. You will receive training on MRE and on the use of these tools as well as routine onsite mentorship to build and reinforce your capacity to do MRE. You will be expected to report every trimester on a set of indicators contained in your project framework which will help Post staff measure progress towards attainment of program goals and objectives.

You will receive training on how to implement the above requirements during your Pre-Service Training (PST) and during several other In-Service training opportunities. To facilitate your successful service, Peace Corps has adapted tools to help you do a needs assessment and integrate your community in a culturally appropriate way that gives you information about the needs of the community in relation to your program goals. 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.

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, Math 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, Physics, or Math

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
• Ability to integrate literacy into Content-Based Instruction
• Ability to adapt and use different classroom management techniques

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. Willingness to take intensive French course and submit organized self-study plan to Placement Office prior to invitation
B. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance language
C. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in a Romance language
D. 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 Pre-Service Training. For easy integration and a successful service, you will be expected to learn the local language used in your site.

As teachers, the language of instruction is English Language. However, some of your students will have little to no skills in English, making interactions challenging. Having a good level in French will ease communication with other faculty members (most of whom will be French-speaking), students and parents.

Living Conditions

Cameroon is a wonderfully diverse and complex country. It is referred to as “Africa in miniature” owing to the variety of ethnic groups, religions, and geographic diversity. Tropical, equatorial, and semi-arid climates are found in Cameroon. The country is officially bilingual with French and English as official languages. Two of its ten regions are predominantly English-speaking, while the other eight are predominantly French-speaking. More than 250 additional languages are spoken throughout the country.

Presently, Volunteer assignment is concentrated in six of the French-speaking regions owing to the current political unrest and security restrictions in the English speaking regions (Northwest and Southwest) and part of the Northern regions (North and Far North). The six regions that Volunteers are currently located in are the West, Adamawa, Centre, East, Littoral, and South.

Peace Corps has enjoyed uninterrupted service in Cameroon since 1962. Living conditions in the country vary greatly from one Volunteer community to another. Volunteer communities will vary in population size from a few hundred to over ten thousand inhabitants. Volunteers must be flexible, resilient, and willing to live in very modest conditions without electricity, running water, and limited access to the internet and telephone coverage. Housing in each site is typically like those of the local inhabitants of the community. Volunteers are provided with a water filter, a mosquito net and a medical kit. In typical rural communities, houses are built with cement blocks or mud and roofed with zinc, aluminum sheeting, or thatch with outdoor latrines. Kerosene lamps are used for lighting, and drinking water is collected from nearby streams, bore holes, or wells. Some Volunteers may be placed in family concessions, with the Volunteer having their own room.

Volunteers receive a settling-in allowance to purchase basic items that are needed to set up their houses. Small stores exist in communities where Volunteers are posted where you can buy very basic household and food supplements for cooking. Locally cultivated staple foodstuff are also available. The most common are cassava, plantain, cocoyam, sweet potato, beans, peanuts and some others that vary depending on the region. Transportation to and from your site may be challenging at times, especially during the rainy season, owing to the bad state of the roads. Motorbikes and “bush taxis” are the most common means of transportation in most communities.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Volunteers are welcomed within the Peace Corps Volunteer and staff community, and many LGBTQ Volunteers have served here successfully. However, it is important to note that same-sex sexual activity is criminalized by Cameroonian legal code and punishable by imprisonment. Culturally, LGBTQ are not well accepted by many Cameroonians, and LGBTQ Volunteers cannot safely serve openly. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.

Volunteers are, 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.

Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop which not only increases options for internet access, but also enables Volunteers to complete required assignments off-line and upload them at a later date. While Volunteers may also complete the assignments through local internet cafes or other access points, having a laptop will facilitate successful participation in training. Please note that tablets and smart phones are not an effective alternative.

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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