Teachers in Wales have the opportunity to teach in Lesotho in southern Africa for six months, an opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture, and utilise and develop your teaching skills in a totally different environment.
The initiative also offers teachers from Lesotho the opportunity for a reciprocal visit to a Welsh primary school.
Since the programme launched in 1985, Wales and Lesotho have formed a strong bond, individuals, communities and organisations in both countries have all benefitted from the partnership.
Each year teachers from Wales are given the chance to take the 8,600 mile trip to Lesotho; a country of just over two million people which is completely surrounded by South Africa, to visit schools and share skills. The project lasts for about six months – from January to June and is a fantastic opportunity to work in the mountainous region of Lesotho and share your experiences with schools in Wales.
The programme is run by Dolen Cymru and the British Council Wales through the Welsh Government's International Education Programme.
Find out more about teachers experiences in Lesotho
What does it involve
For its 2018 programme, there are three positions available for teachers/teacher trainers. You will be based in Thaba Tseka, a rural town in the highlands of Lesotho about 4 hours drive from the capital, working in local primary schools who have been part of the education programme for 2 years. You will also deliver training to the local teacher training college and other schools in the wider district.
You’ll fly out to Lesotho in January, the start of Lesotho's academic year, and spend six months in a school where you’ll be teaching for up to 15 hours a week. Classes can be much bigger than you’re used to in the UK – on average around 40-50 pupils, although it can be more than this.
Exactly what you’ll teach will depend on your own experience and ability, but it will most likely also include some English, Maths and a few extra-curricular activities.
It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding and something you remember for years to come.
The teachers will return for a two week placement in primary schools in Wales, sharing their experience with a range of stakeholders.
What training do I need?
To apply all you need is to be a fully qualified teacher or NQT who is from Wales, teaching in Wales or trained in Wales. If your application’s successful you’ll be given a series of training courses to prepare you for the project – from basic travel help and advice to information on local culture and the Lesotho education system. You can read about these in more detail in the FAQs section of the Dolen Cymru website.
What kind of support will I receive?
Each group will be accompanied by a mentor, a person who will be responsible for supporting their professional development and for ensuring their wellbeing. The group mentor is Dolen Cymru’s representative in Lesotho, but will also be a part of the team, working part-time at a school and living with the teachers. You will have an allocated teacher in your school who will be your in-school mentor and you will also be supported by the Dolen Cymru staff in Lesotho and members of Lesotho Wales Link, Dolen Cymru’s partner organisation in Lesotho. They will be on hand to give advice, liaise with the schools and local officials and offer you excellent support throughout your stay there
Can I apply?
There are a few simple requirements for the programme, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect. To apply you need to be:
- a qualified teacher from Wales or teaching in a school in Wales
- or a student teacher currently training in Wales, who will be qualified by September this year
- the owner of a valid UK passport, valid for at least six months before entry
- in good physical and mental health
- able to cope with conditions very different to that in the UK
What does it cost?
The project is incredibly important to both countries and this is reflected in the funding and organisation. Dolen Cymru will arrange all your flights, transfers, accommodation, placements, insurance and support, as well as provide a monthly salary to cover the cost of accommodation and living expenses.