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14.12.2015 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Presenting the results of teacher training project in Guinea-Bissau


The Ministry of National Education of Guinea-Bissau organized a ceremony to celebrate the results of a UNESCO project on improved pre-service and in-service teacher training systems on 8 December 2015 in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau.

The ceremony brought together officials from the Ministry, a team of teacher training experts and advisors and a team of bilingualism experts, as well as a wide range of education stakeholders from civil society and education partners, including UNICEF, World Bank, Fundação Fé e Cooperação (FEC), the Embassy of Portugal, and teacher unions, etc.

“The large number of unqualified teachers in the basic education system in Guinea-Bissau is primarily due to the interruption of the teacher training system during periods of political tension. The result is the integration of many teachers without adequate initial training in the system,” said Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar.

UNESCO’s project focused on providing assistance to the Ministry of Education of Guinea-Bissau to remedy this situation through improved teacher pre-service and in-service training systems. With the financial support of $1.6 million from the Italian Government, UNESCO implemented the project from 2009 to October 2015.

Focus of the project

Akemi Yonemura, Programme Specialist at UNESCO Dakar presented the implementation of the UNESCO project and highlighted the need for increased collaboration among partners to build on the gains of the project.

The project was designed to support the rebuilding of the Guinea-Bissau's education system by focusing on two major issues related to:

i) improvement of qualification of teachers, and

ii) the setting up of a national exam system as monitoring and managing tool for quality of learning.

During the implementation, project was also adapted to critical issues, such as bilingual education, catered for Creole speakers, the majority of the population in the country. The project contributed to:

  1. Improvement of in-service teachers training modules and teachers skills (grades 1 to 6);
  2. Pilot introduction of bilingual education in Creole and Portuguese (grades 1 and 2);
  3. Improvement of pre-service teacher training quality (grades 1 to 6); and
  4. Reinforcement of national capacities

During the ceremony, project coordinator Marcelina Santos Ba presented each of the activities and highlighted how the project has improved the content of the in-service teacher training modules for grades 1 to 6 financed by UNESCO and African Development Bank (AfDB) projects in order to enhance quality of education.

Five technical national experts (all working in the education system) have revised and harmonized these modules and guides (mathematics, Portuguese, expression, integrated science and pedagogy). They have worked under direct guidance and assistance of the technical assistant and according to the on-going curricular reform and the adopted competence-based approach, while considering the socio-cultural context in the country and gender issues. Through this revision process, their capacities in designing and harmonizing training modules were strongly reinforced, which contributes to the strengthening of the teacher training institution and of the Ministry’s capacities in this area.

The national project implementing agency, INDE, presented strong recommendations for future interventions in this area.

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