Trainees Get Lesotho Experience; Student Teachers Take Advantage of College's Links with African Country

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Byline: Katie Norman

TRAINEE teachers have been honing their skills in Lesotho in preparation for teaching positions in Wales.

Lecturers from Trinity University College, in Carmarthen, have taken a group of student teachers to do work experience placements in primary schools in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho.

The college has enjoyed a long-standing friendship with colleagues in the African country through the charity Dolen Cymru, which has been establishing links between Wales and Lesotho since 1985, but this is the first time Trinity has run a group visit for students.

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The trip was chaperoned by Anne Loughran, a senior lecturer in teaching practice and placement officer at Trinity University, who previously spent six months teaching at Hlotse High School in Lesotho and has developed training programmes for maths teachers in the country.

She said: "We've had this dream of bringing our students to Lesotho since 2005.

"I thought it might be life-changing for some of them, but they've all come back and said it's been life changing. They've been so inspired.

"They've learned some of the local languages and they've done a lot of travelling around Lesotho. They also spent three days teaching in primary schools in the capital and living in halls of residence at Lesotho College of Education.

"It's been brilliant teaching experience for them because global citizenship is very important in the classroom in the UK and also because so many primary schools in Wales already have links with schools in Lesotho."

Mrs Loughran said the students from Wales had to teach classes of up to 100 African youngsters during their work placements in Lesotho.

She said: "I was very impressed because they're going into their third and final year of teaching practice and they've coped with classes of up to 100 in number.

"I've seen one of the girls bringing greeting cards back to Wales which she had made with a class of 78. …