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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 4) 2015/16

Melissa Sietsma, St. Petrusschool, Suriname, Mobility for Internship, KPZ

To contact the St. Petrusschool was in the beginning very difficult, because there is a time difference of five hours between the Netherlands and Suriname. Eventually I speak with my Director and we agreed that I came in the first week to meet the school and colleagues. The St. Petrusschool is a school with 16 groups. Each grade have two groups. Group a and b. The school begins each day from 7.45 till 12.45. Every monday there is a flag parade to open the schoolweek with all the children.

Through the internet we rent a house for three months. We have found the house on www.stagehuisvestingsuriname.nl. Signing the rental agreement was very easy, because the contract was in Dutch. This is one of the reasons why I went to Suriname for internship, because the main language is Dutch. 

Monday till Wednesday I gave lessons on the St.Petrusschool. Thursday was a study day at home to work for my research.
The first days during my internship there were many impressions. The education in Suriname is  different than in the Netherlands. The education in Suriname is very performance-oriented. Every week make the children tests. In addition, the techers are very directly and they speak a lot with the imperative. The classes are also very big. I had a class with 31 children. The classrooms are very small for so many children. The parents need to pay for the material for the children. The children have to bring there own pencils and notebooks.
On monday the school starts with the flag parade. The children of the whole school are together and singing the National song. This is in Dutch and in Sranan Tongo.
The methods for the subjects are the same as in the Netherlands, but somethings are changed. For example, the children don't work with euro's but with SRD during math.

Positive aspects; the children work hard, the methods books are good and the teachers are consistently.  
Negativ aspects; the children make every work individual and make not work well together. And there is to few materials to work adaptive.  

What's included in your internship?
My internship offers many new insights into teaching. How you can teach with little material to children. And you learn as a teacher to be consistent. You should be direct to the children to keep order in your classroom. The teachers take good care of you. They want that you have a good time at their school. 

What does a student needed when he/she choose your internship?
The student that choose for the St. Petrusschool must have motivation to do something on a day. If you are nothing offering, the teacher will do everything self. You must dare to stand up for yourself. And the student must be able to deal with the different culture and they should be adapt it. 

In Suriname life many different peoples. Particular is that these people all live together and respect each other's culture. During the internship you see no difference between the rich and the poor children, because there wear a uniform. 
There are also several trips to the jungle where you can see how the people live in a different culture. I have done this for three days on a trip the called Gunsi. During this trip I have experienced what it is to live with resources. The people make there own home-grown food and wash their clothes still in the river. In the city you notice that you are in a different culture. The people from Suriname whistling at you when you drive on the bike. And there are in addition to the usual supermarkets very many Chinese shops where you can buy your food.  

When you live in Suriname you should also find out some of the history. At Fort Zeelandia, you will learn the entire history of Suriname. You can do this with a guide. The plantations are a hot item in the history of Suriname. You can find plantations where you can see which means they all converted here. You can do this with a nice mountain bike tour. You ride 35 km and you stop by two different plantations. New Amsterdam and Peperpot. Here you can see the slave prisons and you can see how grow different sources such as coffee and cocoa. 

During the period February till May is it every day tropical warm. It is always above 25 degrees. So it is very important that you always use surnburn, even though there are clouds. The rainy season begins at the end of April. Then there are days when it just raining. Suriname exists for the most part of Jungle. You can see the nature during trips to the jungle. Here you can find different species of trees and animals. 

Costs in Suriname 
Suriname is not very expensive, but if there is a crisis the products be more expensive. Indeed, the excange rate changed every week. It is a must to take the taxi in the evening, but this is very cheap. 

Airline ticket                    800,-
Rent house (3 months)     795,-
Rent bike (3 months)        90,-
Living (3 months)             900,-
Trips                               644,-

Totaal                              3229,00

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