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Solomon Island schools benefit from England–Melanesia teacher exchange

Posted on: November 5, 2015 11:24 AM
Teachers from four Solomon Island schools during a four-week training and mentoring visit to the C of E's dioceses of Exeter and Chester
Photo Credit: Melanesian Mission UK

[ACNS] A group of four teachers from the Solomon Islands have made a four-week training visit to the UK as part of a twinning project between schools in the Church of England’s Diocese of Exeter and schools run by the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM).

The visit was supported by the Melanesian Mission UK (MMUK) and followed a successful “Talk Champions” training programme last year in which three teachers from Exeter diocesan schools delivered training in Honiara on Guadalcanal Island last August.

The four teachers – Salome Vuthia from St Francis School, Margaret Gwalo from Norman Palmer School, Margaret Razak from St Nicholas School, and Louisah Twomey from Taroniara School – observed lessons at Feniton C of E Primary School in Honiton, and Tipton St John C of E Primary School in Sidmouth before teaching pupils in a range of classes.

They were also able to go on school trips and experience the Christian distinctness and management of church primary schools. Each teacher was assigned a mentor, and was able to discuss how action plans and new skills may be implemented in a Solomon Islands setting.

“As their mentors had previously visited the Solomon Islands, practical solutions were identified, and the teachers returned to the Solomon Islands with an action plan for disseminating their ideas and skills,” Melanesia News, the magazine of MMUK, reported. “They will share this knowledge with not only their own schools, but with other ACoM Schools. The teachers will also continue to be supported by their UK mentors and by MMUK.”

In addition to spending time in the classroom, the Solomon Island teachers were able to make a number of trips to experience life in English villages, towns and cities, including a week-long stay in Chester Diocese in the north-west of England

“Be assured that this trip has been very successful,” Margaret Gwalo said in a farewell speech before returning home. “Over the past four weeks we have seen and learnt from you, and this we will be sharing with our fellow teachers and pupils back home.

“We thank God for our togetherness and school partnerships, which have brought us together over 9,000 miles. We pray to God that our companionships continue to grow, and we welcome visitors from the UK to Solomons and future teacher exchanges.”

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