Designing Open and Distance Learning for Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: A toolkit for educators and planners

Moon, Bob; Leach, Jenny and Stevens, Mary-Priscilla (2005). Designing Open and Distance Learning for Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: A toolkit for educators and planners. The World Bank, Washington, USA.



Everyone remembers a good teacher. Good teachers are the key to educational expansion and improvement. In many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is an urgent need to expand the number of primary and secondary teachers. In all African countries, there is an equally important need to improve the quality of teaching. To achieve this, it is clear that new approaches to teacher education are essential. Existing institutions of teacher education will continue to play an important role, but, alone, they will not meet the goals of Education for All (EFA) by 2015.
It is fortunate that, just as the twin needs to improve the quantity and quality of teachers become imperative, so new forms of education and training are becoming available. The world is witnessing a revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs), which can offer training and support of a type and at a cost hitherto impossible to consider, and thus, must be fully explored given the scale and urgency of demand. In doing so, however, it will be necessary to build on existing and well-tested strategies, including the best models of open and distance learning.
This toolkit is the third in a series of recent publications by the Africa Region Human Development Department of the World Bank to share knowledge and experience on how distance education and ICTs can support education in Sub-Saharan Africa. It emphasizes the rigorous process by which new forms of distance-education programs for teacher education can be planned and implemented. The best models of established programs are considered along with the potential for incorporating, as the means become available, new modes of communication. Most forms of teacher education, particularly those concerned with qualification upgrading and ongoing professional development, will have to be based in schools. The authors demonstrate how school-based programs, appropriately resourced and supported, have the potential not only to raise significantly the number and quality of teachers, but also to improve classroom practice and school organization, generally. The guidance and advice, which is drawn from many years of experience in design and implementation, and embraces a range of case studies from across the region, will be of considerable value to those preparing new policies and programs of teacher education and to those seeking to improve existing programs.

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