I am pleased to be here in Gaoua to attend the regional BETA launch and to help open the workshop. The Burkina English Teachers’ Association (BETA) was formed in October 2009 by a core group of English teachers and our very own Lynn Hanson Ouedraogo, who is right here. In 2012 BETA obtained official recognition from the Government of Burkina Faso. Now, with over 50 paid members, BETA is affiliated with two international English teaching associations, IATEFL in Great Britain and TESOL in the USA. BETA publishes a bimonthly newsletter and has a Facebook group with 110 members.
BETA is building a network in country, around the world, and online. Gaoua marks the seventh region to launch a BETA branch. These are wonderful accomplishments in 5 short years.
The U. S. Embassy congratulates BETA and particularly its executive committee members for creating and sustaining such a vital, dynamic association. I’d like to recognize Daouda Sanguisso, President of BETA, and thank the BETA team members who came from Ouagadougou to be here today.
Through English teaching workshops like the one you are attending now, BETA is actively addressing the needs of English teaching professionals in Burkina Faso. And thanks to Dramane Gnessi, a Fulbright alumnus, for his contribution as workshop presenter to making this workshop a success.
The U. S. Embassy supports professional associations like BETA as they are key groups which enrich the vitality of civil society, empowering citizens in various domains to engage in their own continuous training, development, and advocacy for their profession.
A group like BETA ensures that teachers have access to tools that make them better teachers, like the American English website and Forum magazines. These tools in turn, help our students learn, which ultimately leads to more productive lives.
I was a teacher myself, before dreaming of my diplomatic life. I found that students energized me and I was always trying to find new ways to approach teaching language to them.
You face the many challenges of overcrowded classrooms, lack of books, limited materials and yet, your students learn. I want to thank each of the teachers here for your work. I also want to thank the administrators in the room who give support to these teachers.
We are convinced that well developed English language skills are critical to advancing not only educational development objectives but even more so economic development objectives of opening Burkina to international markets and empowering Burkinabe to compete in those markets.