$71M USAID Partnership for Education Learning Project to reach 1.1 million pupils and 30,000 teaching professionals

Education charity The Varkey Foundation was among delivery partners at the official launch yesterday (30 April) of the nation’s remote learning initiative at Ghana’s National Teaching Council e-leaning centre.

It marked the official unveiling of 20 e-learning INSET centres, two located in each of Ghana’s 10 regions.

Working with nonprofit human development organization FHI 360 in Ghana, the Varkey Foundation has set up the 20 video-conferencing and broadcast facilities at these e-learning centres and is supporting the delivery of content with online broadcasts from its studios in Accra to teacher trainers over two years. Audio and video lectures can be delivered to the centres, and teachers visiting them will have the chance to communicate with each other for two-way conversations.

It is part of the $71M USAID Partnership for Education: Learning (Learning), an integrated project designed to support the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (CES) improve reading performance in public primary schools.

Learning’s Early-Grade Reading Program seeks to improve learning outcomes for an estimated 1 .1 million pupils in KG2, Primary 1 and Primary 2 through a systematic phonics-based approach to reading. Learning includes the development of teaching and learning materials in all 11 GES approved Ghanaian languages, and In-service training and coaching for approximately 30,000 teachers, Head Teachers, and Curriculum Leads in the phonics-based approach. The reading program is being implemented in 7,278 primary schools in 100 districts spread across all l0 regions of Ghana.

Bright Biney, Project Manager at Varkey Foundation Ghana, said:

“The remote and rural locations of many of our schools in Ghana presents a real logistical challenge when it comes to rolling out education of a uniformly high standard to students. But thanks to the technology, we can now reach out to teaching professionals at their local e-learning centre, and ensure they are all up-to-speed with what is required, while providing them with all the latest materials.

“Sustained good quality teacher training will then filter back to the classrooms with the benefits felt by over a million children right across the country. The ability to read from an early age is one of the most vital components of a good education.”

Learning includes e-learning developed for District Teacher Support Teams (DTSTs) and Circuit Supervisors (CSs) so they can support teachers delivering the reading program. The e-learning complements the face-to-face material training offered to the DTSTs and CSs and includes video-conferencing, an e-learning course, and the use of the Varkey Foundation supplied video broadcasts.

The e-learning program, apart from its advantage of minimizing the loss of quality that can affect large scale cascade-based training, provides opportunities for participants at the 20 e-learning INSET centers to share experiences and to interact with one another across the different centers.

The first e-learning workshop, which also served as a trial of the approach, was successfully held in December 2017. Today the second workshop for the DTSTs and CSs is being held at the launch of the e-learing centers and features a live broadcast of the e-course from the Varkey Foundation studios to all 20 e-learning INSET centres which were set up jointly by Ghana’s National Teaching Council, the National Council for Tertiary Education, and the Colleges of Education.

The 20 E-Learning INSET Centres located in all 10 regions of Ghana

Hohoe College of Education, Volta Region

Peki College of Education, Volta Region

Akatsi College of Education, Volta Region

Ghana Education Service Staff Development Institute (GESDI), Central Region

Our Lady Apostles (OLA) College of Education, Central Region

Tarkwa GES Resource Centre, Western Region

Holy Child College of Education, Western Region

Mampong Technical College of Education, Ashanti Region

Kumasi-St. Louis College of Education, Ashanti Region

Agogo Presby Women College of Education, Ashanti Region

Akrokeri College of Education, Ashanti Region

Waiwso Training College of Education, Western Region

St. Joseph College of Education – Bechem, Brong Ahafo Region

Berekum College of Education, Brong Ahafo Region

Bagabaga College of Education – Tamale, Northern Region

St. John Bosco College of Education-Navrongo, Upper East Region

NJA College of Education, Upper West Region

Assin Fosu College of Education, Central Region

National Teaching Council (NTC), Greater Accra

Mt. Mary College of Education – Somanya, Eastern Region

The Varkey Foundation believes every child deserves a vibrant, stimulating learning environment that awakens and supports their full potential. We believe nothing is more important to achieving this than the passion and quality of teachers. We support global teaching capacity and seed excellence and innovation in the next generation of educators. We also founded the Global Teacher Prize to shine a spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world.

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