It is my pleasure to be here this morning because education is very close to my heart and opens doors to many opportunities. I was excited to learn about this workshop and the impact the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching (FDAT) alumni are already making in Botswana. We started this program in Botswana as a pilot in 2015, the first English speaking country to be considered as a beneficiary of the program. Already we have had seven American teachers come here and four Batswana teachers travel to the United States. We see this model of cross-cultural exchange of educational ideas and instructional methodologies as a success story to be proud of.
I’m pleased to recognize here with us today Ms. Jessica Kellerman, our current American teacher in Botswana who is working with the Department of Curriculum Development and Evaluation at the Ministry of Basic Education; Ms. Marie Snider, our American English Language Teaching Fellow based at Botho University; and Ms. Christinah Hambira from the first cohort of Batswana teachers to travel to the U.S. I’m pleased to also recognize Ms. Gaone Moloi and Ms. Keitumetse Thobani, from the latest cohort of Batswana teachers, who are the brains behind today’s workshop.
Ms. Gaone Moloi and Ms. Keitumetse Thobani were placed at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana from August to December 2016. Ms. Thobani’s inquiry project focused on Enhancing Curriculum Delivery through Differentiated Learning, and Ms. Moloi’s inquiry project focused on Making Teaching and Learning of English Fun and Easy as Learners in the 21st Century. Upon their return they proposed conducting a joint workshop to share their experiences and best practices learned with 100 colleagues from Bokamoso and Maoka Community Junior Secondary Schools where they teach. I am proud the Embassy was able to provide support to make this workshop a reality.
I love to see the impact of our programs and what better impact than sending two highly motivated Batswana teachers to the U.S., who then return to Botswana and reach an additional 100 teachers by sharing their experiences and knowledge gained in the U.S. It is my hope that the experiences of these teachers will inspire you to apply for this program during the next call for applications later this year. Our Cultural Affairs Specialist Naomi Makgolo and Acting Public Affairs Officer Jacqueline Mourot are here today and will gladly take your questions on the program or application process.
The Fulbright Program has been around for 71 years and exists in 146 countries around the world. Many Batswana have studied in the United States through the Fulbright program over the years. With these alumni you are now a part of a longstanding legacy of international education exchange between the U.S. and Botswana. I wish you an enjoyable and productive workshop, and look forward to bidding some of you farewell as you board the plane as future Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching program participants.