Home | 2011 Workshop

Supporting In-service Teacher Training
August 18, 2009 – 3:30 p.m.
Presenters:Natasha DeMarcken, USAID Mali
Sandy Olesky-Ojikutu, USAID Nigeria
Thomas Crehan, USAID Philippines

Moderator:Cynthia Taha, USAID Benin

This session focused on the design and program strategies for implementing in-service teacher training programs. Interactive presentations from USAID staff from Nigeria, Mali, and the Philippines highlighted the importance of designing programs in areas where teacher quality is low and teachers lack knowledge in both content and methodology. In Nigeria and Mali, significant challenges were also presented in the education context, where student literacy and access to education are still very low.

In Mali, Interactive Radio Programs (IRI) were used to increase teacher and student competency in reading and writing. Improving education quality has been done through teacher training programs, interactive radio and curriculum development, among other interventions. Teacher training has been mainly done at the community level; the national teacher strategy has given teachers more leadership in training and professional growth at the school/community level. The greatest challenges to success in Mali have been: political turnovers in the ministries which lead to a lack of stability in policies, focus on access rather than on education quality, disaggregated national curricula that don’t feed into one central system, and no systematized central broadcast system for the IRI programs.

USAID Nigeria has made great strides in introducing teacher training using IRI programs and face-to-face trainings. However, the Mission has also faced challenges in implementing its programs. For example, the quality and knowledge of teachers varies greatly in the country, with some of the direst circumstances in the north, where for religious reasons USAID was not initially allowed to go. Over time, the Mission has successfully implemented programs nationwide and has also been successful in working with the Ministry to reflect program techniques in school inspections. In the Philippines, the USAID mission has made great strides in content training of teachers. The largest issue has been that teachers could not be taught interactive methodologies if they lacked confidence in the content they were to teach. Tom Crehan emphasized the need for public/private partnerships with other donor agencies and the need to integrate different partners at the technical and regional level to ensure success.

A very active discussion followed the USAID presentations. The group discussed the challenges of effectively measuring change in teacher quality. For example, how does a program measure success if student data takes time to change? One suggestion was to increase the use of quality observations of teachers. Other session members also addressed literacy programs directed toward adults, pre-service teacher training, and specialized programs for disabled students.

Key take away points of this session were the various successes and challenges of implementing programs to increase teacher quality. Successful programs were ones where the Mission worked closely with the Ministry, had clear objectives, and was able to build successful partnerships with other donor agencies at the technical and regional level. Challenges associated with teacher training programs included frequent Ministry turnovers, inconsistencies in national curricula and difficulties in measuring teacher progress over time.

To view the presentations, please click on link below:
USAID Mali, DeMarcken : Open
USAID Nigeria, Olesky-Ojikutu : Open
USAID Philippines, Crehan : Open

For questions related to the 2009 Education Workshop,
please contact Rebekah Levi at rlevi@jbsinternational.com