September 25, 2018
Written by MTC
This article originally appeared on MTC’s website. Reposted with permission.
USAID’s Egypt Workforce Improvement and Skill Enhancement Project (WISE)—implemented by MTC—is rolling out a peer helping program for students in Egyptian technical schools. The peer helping program, known in Egypt as ‘Together We Soar”, is an innovative approach to improving the environment in Egyptian technical secondary schools by leveraging the already strong informal peer networks into something even more robust, reliable, and effective.
The program began with a piloting phase in eight schools. Teachers from these eight schools were trained in “peer-to-peer” counseling approaches so that they, in turn, could train, coach, and mentor students interested in becoming peer helpers. On behalf of MTC, Dr. Judy Tindall of the National Association of Peer Program Professionals provided multiple training sessions to Egyptian educators. The next phase involves cascading the program from pilot schools into the rest of the Egyptian technical secondary school system.
Students serving as peer helpers act as leaders in their school communities, helping peers solve problems and providing academic, social, and emotional support to their classmates. Enhanced peer-to-peer counselling improves the student experience and prepares students for a smooth and informed transition from student to workplace employee.
“As a peer moderator I can help solve issues among the other students. I am an ambassador, a moderator, educational support, and technical support.” – Peer helper at a WISE-supported school