Christian Reformed World Missions has started field-testing its new Educational Care program with schools in Kenya, including St. James Academy in Kiambu, where 40 teachers and support workers recently gathered for the first session titled “Biblical Worldview.”
While CRWM paid the facilitators and provided the training materials, the school covered housing, travel, and food costs. “A good confirmation for me that [CRWM] really valued this training is that they put money out for this—and they don’t have a lot of extra money,” says Albert Hamstra, CRWM’s special projects’ director.
The idea for a training program developed out of a conversation Hamstra had with Mwaya Wa Kitavi, CRWM’s East and South Africa regional director.
“Mwaya mentioned [that] it would be a good idea to have a Timothy Leadership Training (TLT) program for teachers,” says Hamstra. Based at Calvin Theological Seminary, TLT works with church leaders in areas where educational opportunities are scarce.
CRWM started talking to the TLT leaders and others and interest grew, says Hamstra.
The Educational Care program is already making an impact. One teacher says, “I have come to realize that everything in the world is God’s property. I now see God in every child and each person.”
In many underdeveloped countries, Christian school administrators and teachers want to teach from a Christian perspective but have few materials and little training to do so.
To address the need, Hamstra gathered educators to create a biblically based training curriculum called Educational Care: Caring for God’s Children.
“The curriculum is made for underserved areas where teachers are undertrained, where there are few opportunities for teacher training, and next to no opportunities for Christian training,” says Hamstra.
Educational Care will have six modules: biblical worldview, student learning styles, developing student gifts, discipline, leadership in a Christian school, and the purpose and value of one’s school. Each module involves a five-day workshop.
Like TLT, each workshop starts with broad principles and ends with participants making action plans to use what they’ve learned. CRWM hopes the first Educational Care modules will be ready by January 2011.