Secondary Education Science Teacher
The Peace Corps has a long and rich history in Guinea. Since 1963, Peace Corps Volunteers have been working in the education sector, collaborating with students, teachers, and community members to become empowered and engaged citizens. Volunteers will be assigned to teach high-school level science (primarily physics and chemistry) in a small town or rural community. Volunteers may also be asked to teach a couple of classes in biology or math depending on the needs of the school.
Project Goal: Guinean students attain math and science skills and opportunities to become problem solvers and innovators.
The Education program’s goal and objectives focus on the following three areas:
o Increase achievement of students in math and/or science.
o Increase the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable teaching practices.
o Strengthen the general, critical thinking, and/or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching skills of teachers
• Learning Environment and Community
o Increase community members’ involvement in student learning and school improvement
o Increase students’ and teachers’ access to teaching/learning materials and resources that use the STEM approach
The STEM approach is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. By learning through STEM, students develop key skills including: problem solving, creativity, critical analysis. Key components of the logic model framework are: gender equity, students friendly-and centered approach, science camps, critical thinking activities, and demonstrations/experimentations of learned lessons, field trips, and community members’ involvement in school improvement.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to pursue secondary projects, based on the needs and resources available in their local community, and in accordance with Peace Corps Guinea’s development frameworks. Given the situation of schools in Guinea, Education Volunteers are encouraged to undertake projects that improve the learning/teaching environment of their work place. Cross-sector collaboration with health and agroforestry Volunteers is also encouraged and there may be opportunities to collaborate with other national and international organizations.
Peace Corps Guinea 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.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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/Science degree in Secondary Education with concentration in any science
• Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in any discipline with secondary certification in science
• Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering
• Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in any physical science or any biological science or equivalent
• Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in any discipline with a minor or equivalent (15 semester/22 quarter hours) in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics
Additionally, Guinea strongly prefers its Volunteers have one or more of the following criteria:
• Professional or volunteer experience teaching science, particularly at the secondary level.
• 30+ hours of science tutoring experience with primary, middle, or high school students or adults.
• Teaching students for whom English is a second language.
• Ability to research, design, and deliver instructional materials.
• Firm grasp of chemistry and/or physics.
• Any volunteer or work experience working with youth and adult students in any leadership capacity.
Required Language Skills
Applicants must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position:
A. Any French language competency
B. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance language and 1) Willingness to take a French course or 2) commit to self-study and a subsequent placement test (with requirements listed for ACTFL and CLEP or a certification letter from a university professor)
C. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters/3 quarters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in a Romance language and 1) willingness to take a French course or 2) commit to self- study and a subsequent placement test (with the requirements listed for ACTFL and CLEP)
French is necessary to interact effectively in Guinean schools, so this means that all Education Volunteers will be required to attain an intermediate high level of French by the end of training.
Volunteers who achieve the intermediate high level during training can begin to learn the language most used in their local community. Malinke, Susu, Pular and Kissi are the languages taught to date by PC Guinea. While COVID-19 is still active in the country, Volunteers will be placed in sites where Susu and Pular are the most used languages.
Trainees who fail to secure an Intermediate High level score will not be allowed to swear-in until they meet that criterion after an extended training.
Invitees are encouraged to take a French course prior to service and to continue with tutoring during Pre-Service Training and afterward once at site. Volunteers are provided with a monthly allowance for tutoring.
In an effort to address COVID-19 and take safety measures, Volunteers are assigned to rural villages located within a day's drive from Conakry. These villages can range in size from several hundred to a few thousand people. The villagers will be educated about COVID-19 and the preventative precautions that the Peace Corps has mandated prior to your arrival.
The Peace Corps works with communities to prepare housing and ensure that it is safe and secure, near a source of water, accessible to a market, and within walking distance of clear cell phone reception. Extra precautions will be taken to assure that host families and Volunteers have the appropriate understanding and space for social distancing, along with identified locations for isolation in the case of any detection of COVID-19.
Houses are typically simple round huts with one to three room structures, with either metal or thatched roofs. Many are situated within a family compound and, in consideration of COVID-19, will be situated at a distance from the other houses. Most Volunteer houses do not have electricity or running water. Houses may have inside toilet and shower areas, but most have a nearby or attached access to a private pit latrine and bathing area.
Cell phone services improve each year, but fluctuate by location. Phones work in almost all areas of the country, but internet access can be limited at the village level. It is recommended that Volunteers bring their own laptop for use at site or at the regional office. Regional offices are also equipped with computers with internet access, but to respect COVID-19 safety considerations, guidelines for proper use will be provided.
Personal appearance is important to the people of Guinea. 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 working. Respecting Guinean 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.
Volunteers are provided bikes for transport should they choose, However, many volunteer sites are within walking distance. For longer distances, Volunteers use small passenger vehicles to go into the regional capital or to gain access to public transportation.
At most main meals, rice, maize, cassava, or a local grain called “fonio” are eaten, along with leaves (like spinach, cassava, and potato leaves), with a peanut or tomato-based sauce served with vegetables, meat, or fish. Fruits such as mangoes, avocados, pineapples, papayas, oranges, and limes are available seasonally. Vegetables are not as common, and those that are, are usually cooked into sauces. One of your goals is to work with community members to highlight the importance of eating these vegetables in new ways.
Though people in Guinea are generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity are well defined 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 and host countries. Staff and other currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during PST and identify some potential support mechanisms for incoming Trainees.
During your service, you will have an incredible experience that will have many challenges, but will undoubtedly bring incredible rewards as you develop social and working relationships with a variety of people, learn to communicate in local languages, develop an understanding of local expectations and customs, along with an appreciation of local foods, and learn to live and work in Guinea, where the concepts of comfort and necessity get redefined.
Serving in Guinea
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guinea: 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.
Your partner must qualify and apply for the following position:
• Secondary Education Math teacher
Couples will live with the same host family during training. At site, couples will share a home that meets the same standards for all Volunteers. Couples are usually placed at the same school within the same community. There will be time during service when couples will spend days and nights apart, such as when one is attending a meeting, routine medical appointments, etc.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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