25.06.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Workshop to promote national and regional frameworks for teacher qualifications

The opening ceremony of the workshop on teacher qualifications framework © UNESCO/Tine Ismaël

The professionalization of teachers who have little or no training is a major challenge in Africa.

More than 30 per cent of primary school students drop out before reaching the final grade in half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa with available data.

"While there are many reasons for such failures, one of them stems from teachers' under-qualifications or teachers' poor skils to deliver quality education," says Adoté-Bah Adotevi, chief of teacher education at UNESCO's Regional Office in Dakar.

"This is why it's important to build strong partnerships to ensure regional and in particular national frameworks for the qualifications of teachers," he adds.

Investigate certification practices

This week in Dakar, participants from some 15 African countries are gathering to investigate the practices of teacher qualifications and certifications in some African countries.

The workshop takes place from 25-27 June 2012 and will examine successful methodologies that led to the establishment of national qualifications frameworks in African countries.

Four experiences

Participants will analyse four experiences in more depth, namely:

  1. The set up of TVET learning outcomes for the qualifications of teachers in The Gambia
  2. The importance of defining common core curriculum and evaluation criteria in West African Examination Countries (WAEC)
  3. An analysis of pre-service curricular to boost teacher education in seven West African countries carried out by UNESCO's International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA)
  4. The work of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

The workshop is organized by UNESCO Dakar, in partnership with IICBA, UNESCO Headquarters and the International Team on Teachers for EFA (Task Force).

Need one million teachers

During the workshop James Keevy of the South African Qualifications Authority and Poonam Batra, Professor of Education, Central Institute of Education, University of Delhi will assist participants in the reflection on conceptual and methodological approaches to developing frameworks of qualifications and certifications, pathways in defining standards of professional competence, among other topics.

The workshop is expected to lead to a regional project that will mobilize a broad range of partners involved in teacher education.

Today, Africa needs 1 million teachers to meet the increasing demand among African children and youth.

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