Home > Experience > Jobs > Teacher

Description of Peace Corps Volunteer Service

Name: Gregory J. Vogl
Country: Namibia


Greg began a nine-week training program on November 12, 1994 for his assignment as a secondary school teacher in Namibia. The program consisted of the following areas of concentration:

This course is designed to introduce the candidates to the system of education in Namibia from policy to practice, with an emphasis on the subject-specific syllabus to be used.
Area Studies
This course is designed to familiarize the candidates with the political, cultural, geographical and historical make-up of Namibia.
This aspect of the training program educates the candidate about preventative medicine and personal health care and safety in a developing country.
Because of the linguistic diversity in Namibia, this course is designed, not to teach a single language, but to equip the candidate with the skills to learn the language found at their site.

In addition to these courses, various informal seminars were conducted, including sessions of coping with stress and harassment, acquiring subsistent-living skills, and establishing secondary projects.

Having successfully completed the training program, Greg was sworn in on January 13, 1995 as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Primary Duties

Greg was assigned to teach at Ponhofi Senior Secondary School in the village of Ohangwena in the Ondangwa East region of Namibia. Ponhofi Senior Secondary School is the only senior secondary school in the Ohangwena circuit and has about 500 students in 15 classes in grades 11 and 12. He reported directly to the principal of the school and was responsible for teaching the following courses:

Dates Subjects Grades Number of Students Hours/Week
01-1995 to 12-1995 physics, chemistry 11, 12 200 22
01-1996 to 12-1996 physics 11, 12 250 24
01-1997 to 12-1997 physics, computer studies 11, 12 250 26

In addition to his teaching duties, he was the register teacher for class 11C in 1995 and 12C in 1996. His responsibilities in this capacity included:

  • taking daily attendance
  • mediating conflicts between students and problems between the class and other teachers
  • disseminating information from the administration
  • compiling all the marks for each student in each subject for report cards

Additional Duties

Computer Administration

In 1995 the school decided to build a student computer laboratory. Greg wrote a proposal to a foreign donor to justify the funding of the lab and helped to design and equip the lab, which was completed in April 1997. He chose, ordered, configured and maintained the school's computer equipment, which includes a network of 20 student computers and eight staff computers, peripherals, and software.

Computer Training

  • organized computer literacy classes of one hour per week for every student in the school
  • taught three of the 14 classes in addition to computer studies
  • organized supervision of the lab during weekends so interested students could have extra practice
  • gave computer demonstrations of many school-related subjects to groups of students
  • in training sessions and informally, assisted several teachers and staff members in the use and maintenance of computers
  • produced training materials and documented computer use and maintenance procedures

Use of Information Technology in Education

  • wrote educational computer programs as teaching aids for physics, chemistry, mathematics, and Oshikwanyama, the local language
  • designed a World Wide Web site to make information about the school more accessible on the local network
  • used computers to write homework assignments, laboratory experiments, examinations, letters, and documents needing advanced formatting, editing and proofreading for teachers and staff at their request

Extra-Curricular Science Activities

  • organized supplementary Thursday afternoon classes for the advanced physics students
  • helped organize extra-curricular activities for students interested in science, such as quiz, problem solving, essay, drawing and debate competitions
  • attended six physical science workshops and one computer studies workshop, organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture
  • helped supervise a class field trip to a secondary school in Windhoek, the capital city

School Resource Development

  • helped the science department order equipment and supplies for the new science laboratory
  • solicited book donations from several different international book donors and secured over 300 books for the new school library
  • wrote a proposal that solicited a donation of money for the construction of a school basketball court, which was completed in November, 1997

Completion of Service

Greg successfully concluded his Peace Corps Volunteer service on December 15, 1997.

Pursuant to section 5 (f) of the Peace Corps Act. 22 U.S.C. & 2504 (f), as amended any former Volunteer employed by the United States Government following his/her Peace Corps Volunteer service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave and other privileges based on length of Government Service.

This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order No. 111003 of April 10, 1963, that Mr. Gregory J. Vogl served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His service ended on December 15, 1997. He is therefore eligible to be appointed as career-conditional employee in the competitive civil service on a non-competitive basis. The benefit under the Executive Order entitlement extends for a period of one year, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service, pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher learning or engages in other activities which in the view of the appointed authority warrants extension of the period.

Colden Murchinson
Peace Corps Country Director/Namibia
16 December 1997