Vincent Thlemu is a perfect example of TCF’s work coming full circle. During his first year of secondary school, Vincent’s legal guardian passed away, leaving him unable to afford to go to school. Not knowing what else to do, he went to see a woman who he had heard was helping hard-working students continue their education. After telling “Mama India” his story, Vincent came to work at RVCV as a student teacher at Gyetighi Primary School (GPS). Vincent worked hard as a student teacher at GPS and spent hours practicing his English conversation skills. By second semester, his English had improved dramatically and he had a sponsor who was helping him go back to secondary school.
Because of his time as a student teacher at Gyetighi Primary School, Vincent has remained loyal to GPS and frequently returned on school breaks to help in whatever way he could. When talking with us, Vincent explained that it was a privilege to be able to give back so that more students like him would have a chance to receive a high-quality education.
After completing his teaching degree, Vincent’s dedication to his community led him straight back to GPS to teach English and Science to Standard 7 students. Teaching at this level is a tremendous responsibility, as Standard 7 students are preparing for the rigorous National Exam, which determines whether or not they can continue on to secondary school. Vincent was up for the challenge, and was proud when his class not only reached a 100% pass rate, but dramatically improved their scores. Last year, 37 of his English students received an A grade and 17 of his science students received top marks!
Vincent is quick to point out that GPS is a unique school where the teachers function as a team and are devoted to improving the education of their students through sharing ideas and learning from each others. Vincent is now taking what he learned at Gyetighi and applying it at Oldeani Secondary School (OSS). Instilling the same sense of teamwork at OSS is challenging, but Vincent is optimistic.
He believes that providing additional teacher training and educating parents on the importance of being involved in their children’s education will go a long way toward ensuring that everyone is working together to improve student outcomes at Oldeani.