What is the best way to provide teachers with professional development opportunities? Ministries of Education discuss at a GPE KIX workshop at UNESCO IICBA

On July 8, 2021, 31 stakeholders from eight Ministries of Education and local education groups Eastern, Western, and Southern Africa met to discuss good practices and challenges in teacher continuous professional development (TCPD) within competency-based education systems.

National curriculum developers, learning assessment officers, teacher educators, and researchers from Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe shared their nations’ experiences in providing TCPD. By the end of the workshop, they agreed that school-based transformative TCPD is the most effective, feasible, scalable, and affordable model, if it is high quality.

“With the cascade model in Lesotho, there is a gap because we usually invite one or two teachers with the assumption they will teach other teachers in their schools,” said Bonnqe Taolane, a subject manager at the Examinations Council of Lesotho. “But sometimes it [the cascade model] does not work out as efficiently as we want it to. So think the best model is if we do it at the school level.”

“We then need to start enhancing the school-based teacher professional development, which is going to encourage mentoring and peer coaching amongst the teachers themselves,” said Jacqueline Onyango, an executive committee member from the African Curriculum Association.

The dialogue was facilitated by the African Curriculum Association and organized and moderated by the Global Partnership for Education’s Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) Africa 19 Hub team at UNESCO IICBA. The African Curriculum Association stimulated discussion among the participants with case studies on TCPD, and brought in a curriculum developer from Lesotho to present on Lesotho’s teacher professional development approach and system. The objective of the workshop was to enable the community of practice participants to design more effective TCPD programs for competency-based education at the school and national level.

This workshop was the second of six workshops within the community of practice learning series on the Foundations of Educational Quality. Throughout July and August, the members of the community of practice are meeting with each other and with regional experts to exchange knowledge about the realities of implementing competency-based education; the need for 21st century skills integration in curriculum development; and strategies for scaling up innovations in teaching and learning. The community of practice will feature workshops led by the African Curriculum Association, Education International - Africa, Teaching at the Right Level - Africa, and Worldreader - West Africa.

At the first workshop on July 1, the community members met to discuss challenges and opportunities in designing and implementing competency-based curriculum.

After each workshop, the community of practice members continue to discuss the topics on their KIX WhatsApp group and Kopano, a virtual interactive platform for educators.

To watch the highlights of the workshop, click here. To see the full recording of the workshop, click here.

To meet the community of practice, follow their activities on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about the KIX Africa 19 Hub, check out its digital repository, a library of regional research, evidence, frameworks, and policy documents from member states in key areas of education development.

For questions or comments about this article, please contact kixafrica19hub@gmail.com.