Enhancing teacher education in Africa

Enhancing Teacher Education for Bridging the Education Quality Gap in Africa,’ is a project supported by the Chinese Government, which aims to enhance teacher training in sub-Saharan Africa via Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Launched in 2012, this project was one of UNESCO’s flagship initiative to accelerate progress towards the Education for All and education-related Millennium Development Goals.

Phase I, which supported eight countries for four years (Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Namibia, Tanzania, and Uganda), concluded in 2016.

With additional funding from the Chinese Government, Phase II of the project was launched from 2017 to 2018 with Togo and Zambia added to the original eight project countries. Phase II builds on the achievements of Phase I to enhance the capacity of targeted national key teacher education/training institutions to provide quality teacher education and training.

The objective is to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG4 on inclusive and equitable quality education and especially target 4.c on increasing the supply of qualified teachers through international cooperation for teacher education/training in developing countries, and SDG9 on innovation.

More specifically, the CFIT project supports a selected number of targeted national key teacher training institutions in the beneficiary countries by:

  • Strengthening existing pre-service programmes, particularly through Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-supported blended training programmes and successful ICT supported innovations;
  • Strengthening teachers’ continuous in-service professional development, particularly through blended learning modalities and successful ICT supported innovations;
  • Enhancing the capacity of teacher trainers with ICT competencies to improve the quality of teaching and learning; and;
  • Improving networks of teacher education/training institutions for promoting knowledge sharing on effective strategies and teaching practices.

Since 2012, the project has conducted over 100 training workshops and trained over 10,000 teacher educators. More than 230 teacher training modules or policy documents have been developed or revised, and are being institutionalized. Over 2,400 pieces of equipment were purchased and installed. Seven online teaching and learning platforms and three digital libraries were established, linking over 30 teacher training institutions.

Project countries have also joined a number of project study tours for peer learning and South-South cooperation. Teacher educators from beneficiary countries are also supported to join the UNESCO-China Great Wall Fellowship to take a one-year special-tailored programme in East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. From the outset, the project emphasized South-South cooperation, country ownership, synergy, and public-private partnership, which are seen as a new model of cooperation between UNESCO, donor and beneficiary countries.

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