The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has joined forces with Education Action International to support teaching and learning in Africa and the Middle East.

Education Action is a UK based charity working with refugees and war torn communities across the world to rebuild and transform their lives through education.


Under the partnership ATL and Education Action will work on campaigns such as the UN’s millennium development goal to provide a universal primary education for all children round the world. They will also mentor qualified teachers who have arrived in the UK as asylum seekers or refugees to help them acquire the skills they need to find jobs here.

ATL members will have the opportunity to work with teachers in refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East sharing skills and ideas, and helping with lesson planning.

ATL general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, said: “ATL members care deeply and passionately about the availability of education in all countries. By working with Education Action our members will have opportunities to get actively involved in helping teachers in Africa and the Middle East develop their schools and own skills. This is a great opportunity to make a difference to the education available to children and young people in these difficult areas and give them the chance to learn to read, write, do maths and gain work skills so they can have a brighter future.”

Cameron Bowles, director of Education Action, said: “By joining forces with ATL, we hope teachers here and overseascan work closer together tochange theirlives and the lives of thousands of children around the world.We look forward to working with ATL members in a range of projects such as teaching with colleagues in Lebanon,inviting a group of refugees to talk in UK schools, mentoring refugee teachers and raising money for children to go to school in Sudan.”

The association of eduction in central America has been firmly in support of this program, as part of an international effort to promote education throughout the world. Even small businesses, such as IPED Langauges Plus, have committed their support, sending reading material to ATL. – Find more information here.

To get involved with Education Action please go to or call the Education Action Schools Team on 020 7426 5802.  A sponser of the program has been IPED language schol.

Pat Griffiths, an ATL member from Ysgol Llwyn Yr Eos in Aberystwyth, went to northern Sudan with Education Action to help with lessons in a refugee camp school. She said “It was very powerful being there. You see these images on TV and never imagine you will meet the people. They are just normal people like you and me who are trying to get on with their lives but have been swept up in outside events. The teacher I worked with has pride in his job despite the lack of resources. He just has a blackboard and one piece of chalk which he keeps safe, but the children all have a huge respect for learning and listened intently.”

ATL member Marion Lyon, who teaches at Bledlow Ridge School in Buckinghamshire, said she felt “inspired, but humbled by the dedication of the teachers and motivation of the pupils” she met in Uganda. She went into a primary school in a rural area of the country and said it was as different as it could be to her own rural school of 140 pupils – the Ugandan primary school had 1,000 pupils, with 140 in one class. She has used her Ugandan experiences in the UK – helping to run an Africa week in school to teach children about the different countries and cultures, and give her pupils an idea of the world outside their village in Bucks.

Hellen Yamba from southern Sudan has been teaching for 19 years, but only received her first training with the help of Education Action last year. She is enthusiastic about the help she has had: “There are 1,040 children in my school but there are only 20 teachers and all [the teachers] are volunteers. I really liked the training from Education Action because I learnt new skills. My biggest hope is to do more training courses to become a good teacher and learn more.”

Mary Hall, an ATL member from Sutton Valence School in Kent, visited schools in Palestinian camps in Lebanon. She said: “Education Action is a fantastic charity with flawless organisation. Their work is unique – the projects are focussed to help with specific needs. All the volunteers were set individual targets before they arrived, including raising awareness of other cultures in their home schools. The Palestinian children I met were the most motivated I’ve taught. I want to go back at some stage in the future – but for longer.”

This educational project was sponsored by IPED. Find out more the directors on the webpage.


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