Each Wednesday, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek celebrates women and their accomplishments through its #WednesdayCelebrateWomen #WCW social media campaign. This Wednesday, UNIC Windhoek celebrates educator Petra Wojcik.
Petra has been a teacher for eight years. After teaching in Germany, she came to Namibia in January 2015 and started at Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) where she teaches foreign language and social studies (politics).
From travelling the world and living in various countries, Petra gained valuable experiences and knowledge, which she applies to and incorporates into her teaching.
When she was 16 years old, her parents sent her to attend one year of high school in Melbourne, Australia where she learned about Australian culture and improved her English. Later during her studies at Bremen University in Germany, she went to England to study English intensively for half a year. These experiences formed her into the educator she is today.
Her international experience also prepared her to be the coordinator for Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) at DHPS, where she actively facilitates meaningful debates on pressing world issues for the students.
Check out Petra’s interview with UNIC Windhoek. Read along as she discusses the importance of quality education, explains how MUN promotes gender equality and encourages girls to live their dreams.
1.) Why is it important for people to receive quality education? Quality education is the main factor in improving people’s lives. I agree with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which state that improvements in achieving quality education can be seen around the world but more has to be done (Goal 4: Quality Education).
Without education one cannot participate in politics or social processes. If one cannot read or write, one has to overcome many difficulties. It is therefore important to ensure quality education for everybody. No matter where they come from.
To ensure holistic thinking and learning, quality education has to begin in kindergarten (pre-level 1) and continuously be taught until high school or university. For this matter, qualified teachers are needed to improve this situation as well. This should lead to equal chances for every person.
2.) Do you think the Model UN platform can be used to promote gender equality and how? I do think that MUN can be used to promote gender equality among other aspects. In my MUN club at DHPS it can be seen that more and more students join the club in order to express their feelings and ideas towards current political issues that concern them in the country or even the world.
Shy students learn to speak up and become more confident. Others have learned to think differently instead of seeing one perspective only. These aspects are very important and can therefore promote gender equality as well.
Seeing so many students attending the MUN conferences in Namibia and worldwide is [proof of] a great achievement by the United Nations. There are so many young women and men who want to accomplish their goals, which makes me, and many other teachers, very proud.
3.) What role does education play in promoting women’s empowerment? I think that education plays a major role in promoting women’s empowerment and schools should encourage female students and form them as individuals.
Female students do well in school, but they do have to learn to take it a step further and use those abilities they have learned.
4.) What is your advice to girls following their dreams? Live your dream, and do not let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve it.
As we are striving for an equal world, we need powerful women who are prepared to work for that. Thus, you have to be prepared to stumble on your way to success. Be ready for that and do not give up!
5.) What is your motto in life? ‘Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.’