Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Am I a Teacher or a Secretary?

Teacher vs. secretary
All Samoan school were given money from New Zealand and Australia, money that was used to buy fun equipment for the schools. We were all excited when the goodies arrived. My school received sports equipment at first. Then, before break we received more equipment. A person from a company in Apia came with a brand new computer and photocopy machine. We are not the only ones to get the equipment, schools all over were receiving the same.
It is amazing having technology in the school. It should be making our jobs easier. The only problem is since us Peace Corps Volunteers understand about technology, some of our principals want technology to be our primary jobs. This means that instead of being English teachers, we are also part time secretaries.
When our equipment came, I was with a class. I was told to leave my class to learn how to use the photocopy machine. It was frustrating to learn something I already knew how to use.
It is a few weeks later and I am sad to see what happens to technology. The principal is afraid of our new technology breaking from teachers not knowing how to use it, so it now sits in boxes.
Today I had to re-teach how to use our all in one printer/copier to a teacher who had to make many copies of a test. It took much longer with the little machine than if the new one was hooked up.
Our school really needed technology, and when our hopes were answered and we received it, it is upsetting to see what happens to it. I know my school is not the only one with these issues. Other Volunteers are running into the problems where they are the only ones allowed to touch the equipment. Their refusal to learn or have their teachers learn, or use it, is not making technology sustainable.

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