What an unusual sight for Friday afternoon – a group of students and teachers still at school! As can be seen from their faces, this is obviously not a form of punishment. They all are in great expectation of a very special guest – the new US ambassador on his first-time visit to. The reason his brief visit in Martin also included a stopover at the Center for Christian Education is due to the excellent results of EFL education. How do they do it?
Slovak Ministry of Education demands that every pupil from grade one takes a second language (mostly English), yet it struggles to find qualified teachers to take on the challenge of bilingual education. While the textbooks and other resources are of good quality, the weakest point is good teachers (since many current teachers formerly taught Russian).
Everyone knows that to learn a foreign language well requires a frequent exposure to native speakers of that language, but a good US or UK teacher in Slovakia is very hard to find. First you would need to be willing to work for anything between 0 and 6,000 USD a year (an average Slovak teacher´s salary). In addition, you would be staying in a country that is not much cheaper to live in than the US or UK, not very exotic, not very open to strangers, and uses a rather obscure language. So why is CCE never short of such teachers? Because we partner with US churches and Christian institutions that generate dedicated volunteers. Their dedication, willingness to serve, to sacrifice their time, money, comfort, etc. result from their faith in the One who gave Himself for humankind.
After meeting with students and teachers, Theodore Sedgwick, the current US Ambassador in Slovakia, saw and recognized the different spirit of our school. Knowing only too well that this model can hardly be a part of the official State strategy for EFL education in Slovakia, he concluded that dedicated Christian volunteers are one of the reasons why the State and the church should work closely together. Simply, there are things that the church can do and does better and more effectively than the State. The result is beneficial for both society and Christian ministry. Thus, the once very atheistic city of Martin now recognizes our ministry by actively supporting the activities of CCE.