This week marks the third week of the new Train the Trainer Fellowship Program underway at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology. This is the second time the Program has been offered with the trial version run in June of this year. Under the Australian Government funded Technical Vocational Education and Training Program 160 Training Fellowships will be offered between now and the end of 2007 to trainers from training organisations all over Vanuatu.

One of the participants Jimmy Lava speaks about what he has learnt already:

“I am a trainer at the Lorakau Rural Training Centre (RTC) in Tanna, TAFEA Province – I joined the Centre in 2002 after I left school. I had decided to return to my village after spending a few years in Port Vila and was interested in youth and development issues. I came to the RTC with little knowledge about teaching and training; however I had gained a little knowledge of business training in Port Vila and became a Rural Business Enterprise trainer at the RTC. I was made Manager of the RTC in 2002 and picked up some managerial skills from a training workshop run by the Vanuatu Rural Development Training Centre Association (VRDTCA).

“My teaching skills and delivery were limited when I came to the RTC. Most of the time I didn’t know whether I was managing and teaching my class in the right way. But it is a rural area, so who cares? All I did as a trainer was write notes on the board. I never asked questions nor gave the opportunity to students to ask questions, as I thought what I said was correct and they had no right to question it. My presentation skills were poor. When talking to students, I would rarely look at them and stood facing the board most of the time, reading to students what I had written. I found that a lesson that should only take 1 or 2 hours to complete would take 2 to 3 days. I did not know about lesson planning and never planned my lessons – I would grab the textbooks, walk into class and start writing. Then I would read what I had written and leave. I used to think that note-taking was what teachers do – this was what most of my teachers did and I thought this was the work of an RTC trainer.

“The TVET Sector Strengthening Program and the Australian Government have funded the Train the Trainers Fellowship Program that has helped me to build and strengthen my skills as a trainer.

“Attending the workshops was eye-opening for me. I learned a lot of important skills to use as a trainer, such as delivery methods and different learning styles. Practising and adopting these learning styles gave me confidence. I found that students became more interested in learning when I looked at them and encouraged them to participate in class. An important factor was breaking the silence in the classroom and the Train the Trainer Fellowship Program gave me ideas on how to get students interested and participate in class. I also discovered the importance of lesson planning. Lesson Plans guided my training on the essentials and give students important information they require to build their skills in the subject I am teaching. Without it, I would continue leading students the wrong way.

“The Train the Trainer Fellowship Program opened a lot of doors for me as a trainer. It helped me to plan my training and work together with other trainers to develop a training plan for my RTC. Students’ performance at the RTC has improved because of the knowledge that I and other trainers from training organisations have gained through Train the Trainer. I think the improved quality of trainers is an important factor in increased enrolment at the training organisations as they will know they will receive quality non-formal vocational training.

“Acquiring these knowledge and skills has made me a different person – it has changed my perspective and broadened my understanding of important aspects of training and challenged me to be a confident trainer. When I first came to Lorakau RTC my training and delivery skills were so limited, but the TVET Sector Strengthening Program’s Train the Trainer Fellowship Program improved my training and delivery skills and changed my training attitude.”

The next 5 week course will start on 15 January 2007. Places are almost full.

To apply contact Amy at the TVET office on 25276 for a brochure and application kit.

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