Teachers: Changing lives

6 December 2019

To demonstrate a commitment that goes far beyond what is generally required by the profession, whether by choice or because the context demands it. This is what the teachers featured in this issue of the Courier on the occasion of World Teachers' Day, celebrated on 5 October have in common.

Located between two pillars of the elevated metro in New Delhi, India, is the school founded by Rajesh Kumar Sharma. It provides free schooling to children from the surrounding slums who cannot afford to go to school, and extra tuition to those who can, but need more help. Saturnin Serge Ngoma also works in precarious conditions. At his La Poudrière school in Brazzaville, Congo, the seventy-six students he teaches every day have to share desks and textbooks. Zhang Yugun has given up the comforts of city living. For the past eighteen years he has been teaching in a remote school, nestled deep in the mountains of Henan province, China.

Building trust is essential when teachers are faced with children who have had troubled lives, insists Mohamed Sidibay, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone. This is the kind of patient work carried out by teachers at the Centre dintégration scolaire in Montreal, Canada, with students who cannot cope with the mainstream school system. Or, in a very different context, the students at the Juan Luis Vives school, which is located inside the Valparaiso prison in Chile.

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