IICBA co-organized a Regional Virtual Capacity-Building Workshop on Teacher Policy Development in Africa

On July 7, 2021, UNESCO IICBA and Teacher Task Force (TFF) held their first Regional Virtual Capacity-Building Workshop on Teacher Policy Development in Africa. In attendance were over 150 participants, including experts in teacher education, development and management within the Education Ministries in the region(s), TTF focal points, UNESCO National Commissions, and critical partners, including UNESCO staff involved in teacher policy development, and representatives from UNICEF, EI, AFTRA, IGAD, ECOWAS, SADC, ECCAS, EAC etc.). Mr. Saliou Sall, Senior Program Coordinator, UNESCO IICBA and Dr. Carlos Vargas-Tamez, Head of UNESCO Section of Teacher Development and Secretariat of TTF facilitated the workshop.

This workshop is part of a series of seminars for national policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders throughout Africa to increase their knowledge and capacity in relation to the teacher policy development process, the dimensions of teacher policy, and how policy development work can be better operationalized at the regional and national level.

Following the introductory remarks by Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of IICBA and Dr. Carlos Vargas Tamez, Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education and former Minister of Education and Literacy of Burkina Faso, shared some reflections on access to education and qualified teachers as human rights.

The opening ceremony was followed by break-out room discussions, conducted simultaneously in Arabic, English and French. Representatives of Uganda, Mali and Egypt shared their best practices, experiences and recommendations regarding teacher policy development and implementation. The regional representatives also focused on the financial aspects of implementing these programs and policy initiatives.

Subsequently,  IICBA and TTF members presented and thoroughly explained two key resources that have been constructed to aid in the process of teacher policy initiatives: the Teacher Policy Development Guide (TPDG) and IICBA’s regionally contextualized guide Teaching Policies and Learning Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa: Issues and Options. Presenters consisted of Dr. Binyam Sisay Mendisu, Program Officer, UNESCO IICBA and Mr. Peter Wallet, Project Officer, TTF; for English speaking countries; Mr. Saliou Sall, UNESCO IICBA, for francophone countries; and Mr. Mohamed Alaoui, Head of UNESCO antenna in Mauritania for Arab speaking countries. A focus of their presentations was to highlight the nine dimensions of teacher policy and their crucial role in planning and implementing national teacher policies.

The breakout sessions were respectively facilitated by Mr. Carlos Vargas Tamez, TTF (for English group), Mr. Mame Omar Diop, UNESCO Kinshasa (for French group) and Ms. Samira Idelcadi, MOE Morocco (for Arabic group).

Throughout the workshop, participants had the opportunity to raise their concerns and bring to light the challenges they have been facing in their regions and countries. This allowed for open dialogue and discussion and provided a space for collaboration amongst the groups.

The workshop was concluded with remarks by Dr. Yumiko and Dr. Borhene Chakroun, Director for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, UNESCO. UNESCO IICBA and TTF aim to conduct follow-up sessions in September 2021 and also in December 2021 at the Policy Development Forum (PDF) on specific topics of teacher policy development that are to be identified through these survey and brainstorming sessions.

An e-certificate of participation will be issued to each participant.

In conducting this series of workshops alongside stakeholders of member states, UNESCO IICBA and the Teacher Task Force (TTF) are acting towards the Education 2030 Agenda in revitalizing the teaching profession to ensure quality and relevance at all levels of education throughout Africa.

For updates and resources from a variety of IICBA events and programs on its website: http://www.iicba.unesco.org/ and its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iicba