Thursday 22 November 2018

Teachers’ role in improving learning and learning outcomes for all children is beyond debate. Recognising the role of teachers in bringing this about, the Ethiopian Ministry of Education has been engaged in a number of interventions targeting teachers.

But, there are still outstanding questions. Do we attract the best talent to teaching or do people consider teaching as a last resort? Do we sufficiently prepare teachers before deployment?  Does the current system develop teachers’ effectiveness and maximise the teaching work force?

These and many more salient questions were raised and discussed in a recent National Teacher’s Conference in Mekelle city. The conference, organised by the Ministry of Education, Mekelle University, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the British Council, was entitled, “Teachers, Teaching and Learning Outcomes” and was held from 15-16 November 2018.

During her Keynote Speech, Dr. Alison Buckler, who is Research Fellow in the Open University, argued that if we are serious about this pledge, in most countries in the world, recruitment policies, training routes, resources, systems and infrastructure for teacher education and schools will need to be radically re-thought.

The conference generated relevant recommendations for policy reform along with a draft plan of action with clear assignment of roles to various implementing bodies.

The British Council is supporting the Ministry of Education (including similar high-level meetings) through its Quality Education Strategic Support Programme (QESSP). QESSP, a four-year programme funded by UK aid and managed by the British Council, aims to enhance the capacity of the education sector in Ethiopia to improve outcomes for learners.