Building an effective ‘Open Education Resource’ (OER) Environment for Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: The TESSA Experience

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

The provision of basic education for all children by 2015 is one of the world’s major educational objectives. Through UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA) commitments and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) national and international attention is focused on measures to achieve this end; the number of out of school children dropped from 96 million in 1999 to 72 million in 2005. But increase in pupil enrolment has increased pupil-teacher ratios; across Sub- Saharan Africa the figure has risen from 41:1 to 45:1 since 1999. In Congo it is 83:1 (UNESCO, 2008). And there are still over 40 million primary-age children not in school (UNESCO, 2007a). // Teachers are crucial to achieving EFA. Data is difficult to substantiate, but it is estimated that over half of existing teachers are unqualified, and over four million extra teachers are needed (Global Campaign for Education, 2005; UNESCO, 2008). In addition there are issues around teacher professionalism and status and the impacts of teacher migration and HIV/AIDS. // The Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) research and development programme is concerned with the huge challenges of supplying, training and retaining effective teachers to meet the needs of expanding primary education sectors across the region. Combining innovative education models and technological tools, TESSA is creating an extensive range of web-based open education resources (OERs) and advisory support systems to extend access to new modes of school-based teacher training (Moon and Wolfenden, 2007). TESSA represents Africa’s largest teacher education research community, extending across institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia together with international organisations. The consortium has grown from long-standing academic relationships, and friendships. TESSA’s strengths are grounded in these relationships, drawing from both the breadth and diversity of experience, and shared values and commitment to education. // Paper ID 402

Open Educational Resources (OER),Teacher Education