Difference between pages "History of the Peace Corps in Madagascar" and "Industrial Arts"

From Peace Corps Wiki
(Difference between pages)
Jump to: navigation, search
m (1 revision imported)
 
 
Line 1: Line 1:
{{History_of_the_Peace_Corps_by_country}}
+
The PC WIKI is an interesting idea so to start off for the Malaysian IA section here are some observations.  The lead-up paragraph pertains to me and can be edited out at any time. The peculiarities of Group XIII need to be discussed: the PVC's recruited from the Job Corps,etc.
  
  
  
 +
After three years as a semi effective PCV, in late 1969 with the $500 go-home allowance in pocket and little else, I was in KL pondering rest-of-my-life possibilities with the the madam of the old Tivoli Bar on Batu Rd. Old Molly was sympathetic and steered me into a very well paying in-country job. Now, almost forty years later I am retired in Kota Bharu and although old Molly and the Tivoli are long gone I still see former students; great friends and great drinking buddies.
  
 +
The PCV years were great, fun, and personally rewarding but the following years were much more effective in a way PC service could never be. The PC impact was dissipated and transient: On the average a PCV taught ~200 pupils per year and probably had a lasting effect two or three or four, if any. The time spent working and interacting with co-teachers had no long term effect. PCV's were an amusement, a pleasant curiosity, who would go away and be replaced by more acceptable local teachers who could teach in Malay.
  
Despite political and economic reform measures, Madagascar continues to face many development challenges. The education system is burdened by overcrowded classrooms, poorly trained teachers, and a severe shortage of teaching materials. Widespread poverty, a poorly educated population, food insecurity, unsafe water supplies, and inadequate health services have resulted in a high rate of infant mortality.  Madagascar has one of the highest levels of biodiversity on Earth, but its natural resource base is severely threatened by deforestation, soil erosion, and the decline in overall land productivity. Peace Corps Volunteers in Madagascar teach English, train teachers, conduct health and HIV/AIDS education, and work on natural resources management and community development.
+
The government's goal was universal secondary education for all; especially the economically disadvantaged rural Malays. PCV's were brought in to fill the staffing gap resulting from the aggressive expansion of Malay language secondary education and the building of hundreds of new secondary schools. Simultaneously the government teacher training system was cranked up turning out more teachers able to instruct in Malay. The Min. of Education needed PCV bodies to fill in until they could catch up and staff the expanded Malay language education system. PCV's eased this major transition and contributed to the phase out of English language instruction.
  
The first 10 Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Madagascar in September 1993 to initiate the teacher training project, which eventually became the English education project. In August 1994, the environmental project kicked off with the arrival of 13 trainees. The health project began in September 1995.  Since reopening in 2002, the Peace Corps has been providing approximately 75 new Volunteers per year in this country. Since the beginning, the program has had a close working relationship with the government of Madagascar.
+
PCV's enthusiastically filled the gap, but as English medium IA teachers, we were superfluous to the government's vision of nation building: universal education in the national language. Realistically neither the PC directors nor the Malaysian government really expected the PC to leave footprints. Within five years all IA was taught in Malay in government schools.
  
===History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Madagascar===
+
An unfortunate consequence of this expansion was a general drop in the quality of education. The existing English medium schools were somewhat elitist,(there were only five in the state), the teachers quite professional, and the students were aware that they were top of the pile. The expansion lowered the common denominator and effected both the standard of teaching and the results.
  
Peace Corps/Madagascar focuses on three main areas of vital need: health, education, and natural resources management.  These projects have evolved over the years based on the needs of the government and the communities with which we work.
+
Personally the post PCV in-country experience was more effective and rewarding simply because money was available to focus on individual potential and need: Twenty dollars per month kept a bright kid in school; a hundred paid for university accommodation; a few thousand put someone through a two or three year diploma course; fifty capped broken front teeth. We assisted many: twenty or thirty or forty, I do not know. The majority, not all, have seen a success that would have been impossible without our assistance.
  
Volunteers in the community health project help communities address health issues through behavioral change methodologies and the effective dissemination of health messages. Volunteers work to promote prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), prevention of childhood illnesses, family life skills, and reproductive health. Volunteers also work with community leaders and organizations to disseminate health messages that are critical to mother and child survival.
+
To some the above might smell a bit like "white man's burden", that's fine, call it what you want, but the long term effect far surpassed anything accomplished as a $120/month PCV.
  
Volunteers in the English as a foreign language (EFL) project are posted to underserved rural communities and work with students, teachers, and the larger community to improve their capacity to speak English. In 2005, President Ravalomanana stated that he wanted English to become the second offical language of this country. In collaboration with central and regional curriculum professionals, Volunteers support the government’s initiatives to raise the standards of teaching, develop teaching resources, and strengthen the links between schools and their communities. Using the community-content-based instructional approach as well as project design and management training, Peace Corps/ Madagascar Volunteers model the belief that teachers, by definition, are community development workers. As such, Peace Corps teachers and their counterparts use English as a vehicle to promote awareness of community issues, to encourage using schools as a base for community activities, and to develop the future community development workers of Madagascar—its young, school-age population.
+
Perhaps, after a period of in-country orientation, today's PCV's should be given an assistance allowance and really have an effect.
 
 
Madagascar has several national parks and protected natural areas. Volunteers in the natural resources management project provide training for managers of protected areas, community members, and groups to improve conservation in these areas. Volunteers are engaged in environmental education, income-generation activities, trail construction, ecotourism, ecological monitoring, community development, construction of fuel-conserving stoves, forestry, and gardening. Their goals are to reduce the degradation of natural resources, to develop the capacity of local individuals and institutions, and to enhance the management capabilities of responsible governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
 
 
 
===Assignment History===
 
 
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"
 
|-
 
| align="center" | '''[[Sector]]''' || '''[[Assignment]]''' || '''[[Beg. Yr]]''' || '''[[End. Yr]]'''
 
|-
 
| rowspan="2" align="center"| '''[[Agriculture]]'''
 
| [[Ag Extension]]
 
| [[1999]]
 
| [[2008]]
 
|-
 
| [[Crop Extension]]
 
| [[2003]]
 
| [[2006]]
 
|-
 
| rowspan="3" align="center"| '''[[Business]]'''
 
| [[Business Advising]]
 
| [[2007]]
 
| [[2008]]
 
|-
 
| [[NGO Advising]]
 
| [[2007]]
 
| [[2007]]
 
|-
 
| [[Urban and Regional Planning]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
|-
 
| rowspan="1" align="center"| '''[[Crisis Corps]]'''
 
| [[Crisis Corps]]
 
| [[1997]]
 
| [[2007]]
 
|-
 
| rowspan="4" align="center"| '''[[Education]]'''
 
| [[English Teacher]]
 
| [[1997]]
 
| [[2007]]
 
|-
 
| [[English Teacher Trainer]]
 
| [[1993]]
 
| [[1998]]
 
|-
 
| [[Prim-Ed/Teach Trn]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
|-
 
| [[Univ. English Teaching]]
 
| [[1993]]
 
| [[1993]]
 
|-
 
| rowspan="3" align="center"| '''[[Environment]]'''
 
| [[Environmental Ed.]]
 
| [[1998]]
 
| [[2008]]
 
|-
 
| [[Forestry]]
 
| [[1994]]
 
| [[2008]]
 
|-
 
| [[Protected Areas Management]]
 
| [[1994]]
 
| [[2008]]
 
|-
 
| rowspan="4" align="center"| '''[[Health]]'''
 
| [[Envir. and Water Resource]]
 
| [[2006]]
 
| [[2008]]
 
|-
 
| [[Health Degreed]]
 
| [[1995]]
 
| [[2007]]
 
|-
 
| [[Health Extension]]
 
| [[1995]]
 
| [[2007]]
 
|-
 
| [[Hygiene Ed/Sanitation]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
|-
 
| rowspan="1" align="center"| '''[[Youth and Community Development]]'''
 
| [[Commun. Serv/Deg.]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
| [[2002]]
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
 
[[Category:Madagascar]]
 

Revision as of 19:43, 15 April 2008

The PC WIKI is an interesting idea so to start off for the Malaysian IA section here are some observations. The lead-up paragraph pertains to me and can be edited out at any time. The peculiarities of Group XIII need to be discussed: the PVC's recruited from the Job Corps,etc.


After three years as a semi effective PCV, in late 1969 with the $500 go-home allowance in pocket and little else, I was in KL pondering rest-of-my-life possibilities with the the madam of the old Tivoli Bar on Batu Rd. Old Molly was sympathetic and steered me into a very well paying in-country job. Now, almost forty years later I am retired in Kota Bharu and although old Molly and the Tivoli are long gone I still see former students; great friends and great drinking buddies.

The PCV years were great, fun, and personally rewarding but the following years were much more effective in a way PC service could never be. The PC impact was dissipated and transient: On the average a PCV taught ~200 pupils per year and probably had a lasting effect two or three or four, if any. The time spent working and interacting with co-teachers had no long term effect. PCV's were an amusement, a pleasant curiosity, who would go away and be replaced by more acceptable local teachers who could teach in Malay.

The government's goal was universal secondary education for all; especially the economically disadvantaged rural Malays. PCV's were brought in to fill the staffing gap resulting from the aggressive expansion of Malay language secondary education and the building of hundreds of new secondary schools. Simultaneously the government teacher training system was cranked up turning out more teachers able to instruct in Malay. The Min. of Education needed PCV bodies to fill in until they could catch up and staff the expanded Malay language education system. PCV's eased this major transition and contributed to the phase out of English language instruction.

PCV's enthusiastically filled the gap, but as English medium IA teachers, we were superfluous to the government's vision of nation building: universal education in the national language. Realistically neither the PC directors nor the Malaysian government really expected the PC to leave footprints. Within five years all IA was taught in Malay in government schools.

An unfortunate consequence of this expansion was a general drop in the quality of education. The existing English medium schools were somewhat elitist,(there were only five in the state), the teachers quite professional, and the students were aware that they were top of the pile. The expansion lowered the common denominator and effected both the standard of teaching and the results.

Personally the post PCV in-country experience was more effective and rewarding simply because money was available to focus on individual potential and need: Twenty dollars per month kept a bright kid in school; a hundred paid for university accommodation; a few thousand put someone through a two or three year diploma course; fifty capped broken front teeth. We assisted many: twenty or thirty or forty, I do not know. The majority, not all, have seen a success that would have been impossible without our assistance.

To some the above might smell a bit like "white man's burden", that's fine, call it what you want, but the long term effect far surpassed anything accomplished as a $120/month PCV.

Perhaps, after a period of in-country orientation, today's PCV's should be given an assistance allowance and really have an effect.