About the Project
In Africa, every day more than 38 million children miss out on primary school and many millions more do not start secondary school. There is a critical shortage of teachers and many teachers, particularly those working in primary schools, have received little or no training. Standards of pupil achievement are low and the importance of high-quality teaching in shaping pupils’ educational experiences is increasingly recognized. Teacher education is a major cause for concern.
TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa) is working to improve access to, and the quality of, school-based training for existing teachers, student teachers and aspiring teachers across sub-Saharan Africa. We aim to increase the number of skilled teachers working in African schools.
TESSA is a network of over 20 universities and organizations from 12 African countries led by the Open University, UK. It works through the collaborative creation and supported use of multilingual high-quality resources for teachers and teacher educators. These resources or study units guide teachers in developing their core pedagogical practices whilst remaining in their schools. Crucially, TESSA resources are not copyright-protected and are designed to be easy and cheap to reproduce. As Open Educational Resources they are available to all in a variety of formats, free of charge, to use, adapt and share.
TESSA is used to enrich existing training programs or as the basis for new programs for teachers. Since 2005, more than 400,000 teachers and student teachers have benefited from TESSA resources in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Further programs in Togo and Malawi are now employing TESSA resources. TESSA materials are also increasingly being used in informal school development activities.
Evaluation of TESSA indicates increased engagement of pupils and improved classroom skills and competencies of teachers. In addition, teacher educators are benefiting from sharing intellectual capital through the network.