Concerns in this area were expressed by learners who attended the two focus groups, as did the participants in the community meeting. Participants in the community meeting emphasized the importance of recruiting the most suitable teachers and training them well. The Native community must articulate the quality of teaching preferred prior to consulting the LBS guidelines. Following these comments, various other questions were raised. How do we ensure that our chosen teachers have integrity, have earned the respect of learners, and are prepared to make a long-term commitment? How much is the community prepared to invest in building these resources so teachers become professionals who will always contribute to the community? Increasing the number of teachers and ensuring their ongoing professional training would become easier if funders provided more professional development days so teachers could be hired and trained without draining program administration dollars.
The next two focus group questions concern literacy program staff and volunteers/tutors. Responses were jotted down in point form to encourage the ongoing flow of discussion.
Comments about literacy program teachers, whether paid or volunteer:
Comments on program use of volunteers/tutors:
Program Needs and Funding Concerns
Learner surveys included one question regarding the adequacy of program funding. As far as you know, does the program function with enough funding to serve the students who need the services? For example, are there enough travel funds, computers, desks, child care, etc. Sixty-seven per cent of the learners said no. They identified some program needs that they felt were most likely linked to the level of funding received by the program. They are grouped here by content.
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