Continental Teacher Development Event Held in Addis Ababa

By Staff Reporter

Teachers-AfricaOctober 23, 2019 ( -- The Continental Teacher’s Development event was held in Addis Ababa from October 21-23, 2019. The event was organized under the theme “Inaugural AU Teacher Prize Award ceremony and stakeholder validation of the AU Teacher Professional Development Guidelines, and Continental Teacher Qualification Frame work.’’

The Continental Teacher’s Development event sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), EU (European Union), AU (African Union), and other stakeholders. During the event it was noted that teachers assume a pivotal role in educating Africans to have a common African vision.

In her confirmation remark on behalf of the African Union Human Resource Science and Technology Commissioner, Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, and the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Josefa Leonel Correa Sacko, said, “the quality of the teacher, perhaps more than anything else, determines the outcome of the learning process. To a large extent, it determines the success of the education system and the character of the graduates of the system.”

The commissioner stressed that, if Africans are to educate for the vision of African renaissance, then this vision must inform the training and development process of the teacher, the conditions under which the teacher is expected to serve and the professional status on teaching.

“Teacher Development is therefore the first strategic objective of the 2016-2025 Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA). Furthermore, following a decision by the AU Heads of State and Government, a study was carried out on teachers’ training, working and living conditions in Africa in 2016, with wide ranging recommendations including the need to enhance Teacher Motivation, Professionalization, Quality Regulatory Mechanisms, Teacher Mobility and Teacher Award, among others,” she said.

“Teachers are at the core of ensuring a desired outcome from teaching and learning experience of learners,” she added.

Surveys show that many children complete primary school without having mastered basic numeracy and literacy skills, and many who drop out revert into illiteracy.

Many leave secondary school still steeped in ignorance concerning life skills such as those related to reproductive health, entrepreneurship, conflict avoidance, gender equity and social integrity, and so on. There are also thousands of graduates from African Universities unable to find or create employment, are unaware of basic human rights and responsibilities, and manifest no pro-African values.

According to these reports, all these are a reflection of the preparedness of the Teacher, including content and pedagogic quality, as well as the system within which these are developed and quality-assured.

Experts also believe that the status of teachers in Africa is critical to achieving Agenda 2063 vision of integration, peace and prosperity, by facilitating acquisition of not just skills and knowledge, but also requisite values and attitudes. And, therefore, the status of the teacher must be unquestionably assured.

Questions have arisen on teacher accountability and professionalism on one hand, and teacher motivation and work conditions on the other.

As the African Union Teacher Study points out, there is need to deliberately address the issue of professionalization, while dealing also with teachers employment ecosystem.

Concerning the shortage of teachers in member states, the study recommends the establishment of a Continental Teacher Mobility Protocol and ‘Teachers without Borders’ to facilitate optimization and sharing of the teacher resource in Africa.

Commissioner for HRST assured that the commission is currently proceeding towards development of commonly agreed professional guidelines at continental level, establishment of teacher qualification frameworks which will provide guidelines for comparing teacher development outcomes and enable sharing of teachers and teacher training resources, and the establishment of AU Teacher Prize, as a means for demonstrating respect for teachers and the teaching profession, by encouraging and celebrating the committed teachers in Africa.

According to the commissioner, the AU Teacher Prize processes are designed to identify and highlight amazing teachers in the African education system and contribute to development of a compendium of success factors in teaching and learning.
It is also said to raise the status of the teaching profession and the teacher, and inspire the best possible candidates to join the teaching profession. Further, the AU Teacher Prize will serve as a catalyst for similar programmes at regional and national levels.

Which is why the HRST Commission make the continental Teachers Development Event possible.

Representing UNSECO Liaison office to AUC and UNECA in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Dr. Ana Elisa Afonso assured UNESCO will continue its support to strengthen education capacity in Africa and motivate professionals in the sector.

The Director also indicated about the need to engage with stakeholders at grassroots level to achieve visible outcomes.

According to reports released during the event, two documents have been developed regarding Continental Teacher Qualification Framework and Continental Guidelines for the Teaching Profession.

The documents were developed by experts of the continent, member states, regional economic communities, education development agencies and institutions, as well as relevant key informants in the field of teaching and learning.

Once finalized, the implementation process will proceed in the coming years, according to reports.

Following three days meeting, the teacher prize has been awarded for Teachers from Ghana, Uganda and Kenya, following fulfilling requirement set by the commission.

Accordingly, the qualified teachers are said to engage in quality teaching which results in high standards of student achievement, demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter, while keeping up with recent developments, encouraging desirable behavior among students through positive feedback and other methods, managing classes to enhance the quality of learning processes, while ensuring accommodation of students with varied learning needs and abilities, positive reputation from stakeholders and community members and few other procedures.

The Teacher Prize is an important and valuable instrument that contributes to the success of Agenda 2063 and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA).

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