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Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
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Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Support Capacity Development for English Club Facilitators

Activity/project background

Partner: Ministry of Education and Training (Government)

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) in Vanuatu seeks to provide student-centered education that is accessible, relevant, sustainable, responsive, and of good quality for every young person. In an effort to promote targeted literacy rates of 80%, numerous strategies have been implemented, including reading assessments, phonics, and sound waves.

The schools in Vanuatu are government-owned and each school serves over 300 students ranging from 5-14 years old. Each school has a 12-member staff comprising of eight classroom teachers, a principal, and two caregivers. Challenged by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, these schools have been aspiring to improve and maintain the acceptable literacy rate of 50% since 2015.

MoET seeks three (3) Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) to support three multi-grade schools on the island of Efate. The VSPPs will provide online literacy teaching and tutoring to students in 4th grade. With internet access as a challenge in the communities where these children live, MoET will also take responsibility to ensure access for these classes. VSPPs will engage with small groups of 5-10 children, per session. The selected students are performing at the near-mastery level.

MoET has previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-assess 4th grade students to determine appropriate small group session activities
• Co-develop appropriate strategies and best practices to improve alphabet knowledge, phonemic awareness, symbol imagery and concept imagery, and skills to improve comprehension and fluency in oral reading (3 hours per week, most of which will be asynchronous)
• Facilitate two small group sessions with 4th grade students weekly (50 minutes per session)
• Debrief and support teachers through weekly sessions to identify and build skills around effective literacy practices (1 hour per week)
• Attend regular weekly calls with counterpart in Vanuatu and attend monthly calls with staff hosted by the counterpart

This engagement is expected to be approximately 24 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal school hours from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Vanuatu time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to a Zoom or Google Meet for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present. The partner agency will be responsible for ensuring that a second adult is present during the online engagement.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in any field

Experience: 1 year experience teaching literacy at the primary school level

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Bachelor's degree in preschool, early childhood, middle school, or elementary education

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Basic Bislama

Experience:
• 3 Years teaching at the elementary level
• Experience with training teachers in literacy

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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