One of the new targets of the education SDG is that by 2025, all children are taught by qualified teachers. This was a serious oversight of MDG2 and it is good to see the new framework incorporating targets that the Steve Sinnott Foundation has been addressing in its projects, particularly in Sierra Leone.
There have been many reports of not just teacher shortages impeding MDG2 but also under-qualified teachers in positions that are not suitable for them. These teachers’ lack of education and qualification means they are not respected or taken seriously by local government and policy makers. In countries with quality education structures, educators often inform practice and procedure. Experience-based and qualitative research is integral to sound educational policy-making.
The Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Project Sierra Leone took place in 2011 brought 12 teacher trainers from Sierra Leone to the UK. The project gave them a 10-day course including teacher-shadowing and workshops on curriculum design, classroom planning and pedagogy. When these teachers returned to Sierra Leone, they began to train a new generation of quality teacher. To date, the project has trained 230 new teachers who have gone on the improve the quality of education and enhance the school experience for 7000 children.
The Foundation will hopefully be repeating this project in 2014.