Working with Children in Fiji

Supporting local Fijian students to reach their highest potential.

 

 

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OUR IMPACT

We support two primary schools in the district to improve English literacy and provide lessons which enhance the creative and physical development of children in the district. Volunteers deliver a range of sessions, including one to one support for children with additional learning needs, literacy groups for focused reading and comprehension work, and composition workshops to engage students in the creative development of their writing and language skills. The programme works in partnership with local schools and builds the capacity of teaching staff and management through the professional development and the sharing of resources.

In 2017, we will primarily be using funds to purchase sets of graded reading book for the two schools that we support.

Library and Learning Center Built

The Challenge

A large pupil to teacher ratio, lack of quality teacher training and resources, and poor infrastructure in schools all pose considerable barriers to young people’s prospects at school and beyond. In spite of being a second language in Fiji, English is the language of instruction throughout the education system. This poses significant challenges to both students and teachers. The demands of the Fijian Syllabus are high while there remains a huge range of abilities among children in the classroom. Frequently children become good mechanical readers through learning by rote but lack the comprehension skills to use their reading to learn. Teachers lack the capacity in time, resources and expertise to differentiate teaching and learning, leaving a large number of students falling well below requirements and as a result disengaging from education. This has and continues to result in a culture where by formal education is seen by many as irrelevant for daily life. Education in Fiji is subject largely to a one-size-fits-all approach which fails to cater for the diversity of abilities and learning styles. This, combined with class size and an educational culture of low expectations, leads to significant challenges in terms of classroom management and behaviour, further hindering engagement in teaching and learning for students.

The Solution

In the first instance, the education project in Dawasamu increases the capacity of schools through the provision of volunteers. This enables them both to assist teachers in the classroom, supporting students and contributing resources, and to offer a range of activities through which pupils can be given focused input.

All students are assessed to build up a thorough account of their reading levels and areas for support. This allows volunteers to see and understand the specific needs of each student and tailor their lessons as such. Where students are in large and sometimes composite classes they are taught at class level regardless of their ability, this means that any gaps in learning tend to persist. Volunteers are able to address some of these difficulties with differentiated activities for individual students or small literacy groups. GVI will regularly assess and monitor student progress in order to continue to have relevant input. All outcomes and strategies will be shared with the school.

Issues related to classroom management are addressed through professional development to introduce strengths-based strategies and a positive culture within schools. In response to specific concerns of teacher GVI also offers workshops in this area.

Make Your Donation

Give to our community development fund today and support education in Fiji.

 

“To my dear GVI friends, we are so thankful for your work. This year has been difficult and you have struggled and suffered with all of us and understand our challenges, and have been a constant source of support and strength.”

Miss Vani
Deputy Head Teacher of Navunisea Primary School

 

“Since we began our partnership with GVI, our community of Silana has become more prosperous. But the partnership has been especially important for the children of Silana, as they are our future.”

Meli Rabele
Headman of Silana Village