May, 25 2012
Jacques Thonny, senior principal of the Saint-Marc district, is a very busy man. In Saint-Marc alone, he oversees more than 300 schools! According to him, “the VCP is a program that really helps. It has stood the test of time and responds to needs already identified by the partner.” That is why, in spite of his busy schedule, he kindly accepted to meet with us.
In phase 1 of the program, Thonny was able to count on support from two volunteer consultants who helped him create a database and also trained teachers to use software like Word and Excel. “Because of this transfer of knowledge, we work much more efficiently,” explained the man who takes education to heart. “Before, we had no system to save information on our schools.”
“Moreover, in a context where there is no, or almost no money, it’s hard to offer quality training to teachers, and if teachers aren’t adequately trained, children’s education suffers,” he confides. “That’s why volunteer consultants are so precious to us.”
Visiting volunteer consultants trained teachers who in turned passed their new skills on to students. In total, 708 students received an introduction to XO, a small computer designed especially for them to learn various subjects.
Satisfied with the results obtained during his first VCP experience, Thonny didn’t think twice about taking on more consultants this year. While in the field, we met two of them: Manon and Alexis. When they arrived, the education professionals immediately told us their experience thus far has been very enriching. “I think that in just a few weeks I’ve learned more than I could have given,” says Manon, recently retired, who is doing her first mission abroad.