Home | 2011 Workshop

Developing In-service Teacher Training Capacity
August 17, 2009 – 3:30 p.m.

Presenters: Garth Willis, USAID Central Asian Republics
Jana Wooden, USAID Dominican Republic
Hala El Serafy, USAID Egypt

Moderator: Barbara Knox-Seith, USAID Latin America and Caribbean Bureau

This presentation offered a perspective of three teacher training programs at different stages of development with a view to discerning an in-service TT model that USAID can use worldwide. As USAID supports teacher training (TT) programs in 85% of its missions worldwide, the agency is naturally concerned with issues of sustainability and ‘value for money’ of these programs. Questions that the audience was invited to keep in mind during the presentation were: Does Teacher Training work? How can a good model for Training of Trainers (ToT) be institutionalized?

Garth Willis from USAID Central Asia Region (CAR) outlined education programs in his region where countries face the challenge of re-building education delivery left-over from the Soviet days. Despite a few spots of remaining good programming, there was no systematic sustainability and the region suffers from many problems in education. The crisis is exacerbated by low capacity and motivation of the governments to reform, an extreme teacher shortage, large populations of children entering the systems, and progressively poor quality of education.

Jana Wooden, USAID Dominican Republic, discussed the impacts of having no previous system of national student assessment and no data on which to base education reform. After USAID-supported baseline assessment showed poor student achievement in math and reading, the Ministry of Education became actively involved in the reform including support for teacher training. Recent assessments have shown improvements in student learning achievements.

Hala El Serafy of USAID Egypt presented an overview of education reform in Egypt. Since 2005, reform has shifted from direct implementation of teacher training by donors to the establishment of sustainable professional development and direct service delivery by the Ministry of Education to improve quality. Current emphasis of education programming includes school-based reform, decentralization of resources and decision-making, restructuring of education personnel, effective incentives for professional development, school accreditation, and measurement of student achievement.

Key take away points from the session included the importance of host government involvement to the success and sustainability of programs. Student achievement and improved teacher qualifications must both be considered when assessing the impact of teacher training programs. Teacher training programs need to be included in a holistic program of activities which address education reform at all levels and insertion points. Finally, programs needed to be evidence-based, i.e., pre- and post- student performance evaluations should be presented to governments as proof of the value of teacher training to improve students’ classroom learning.

To view the presentations, please click on link below:
USAID Central Asian Republics, Willis : Open
USAID Dominican Republic, Wooden : Open
USAID Egypt, El Serafy : Open

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