The Working Group on the Teaching Profession, Anglophone section (WGTP/as) seeks to contribute to the development of quality basic education by supporting the creation and development of teacher management and support systems within African countries.
In 1995, WGTP held a major Teacher Management and Support (TMS) meeting in Accra, Ghana. The meeting reviewed country action plans which had been incorporated into national education plans or reform programs. Since then, WGTP and participating countries have worked hard to implement the TMS action plans and program activities.
Country Working Groups
WGTP's activities are carried out by TMS Country Working Groups which are provided with methodological support. Located within Ministries of Education, Country Working Groups have proved to be effective vehicles for addressing teaching profession issues in Africa. They have been instrumental in mobilizing local support and in implementing program activities. Through them, constructive advocacy and dialogue on key TMS issues have been maintained with and by senior education officials.
Since 1995, regional structures have been created in order to widen consultation and enhance local ownership of TMS activities further. The regional meetings of East Africa and SADC Principal/Permanent Secretaries have provided a broader vision of TMS issues, greater leadership and stronger support to the TMS program at all levels.
In 1995, eight SADC countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe - formed a regional TMS group. The group has initiated a regional action plan on better school inspection for quality improvement in basic education and has developed resource materials for School Inspectors.
Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda have initiated a similar plan of action in East Africa. A regional proposal is being considered alongside country action plans.
Resource materials development
Resource materials in teacher management have been developed for reference or training purposes. Recent materials include Training Modules for School Inspectors (See description below). These modules were developed by the SADC TMS group to support induction and in-service training of school inspectors. Subsequently, a Training of Trainers Program was developed to facilitate the implementation of training programs at country level. The materials are now being piloted in participating TMS countries and the initiative is being extended to other regions.
The availability of these publications has given great support to TMS country action plan programs, especially for the training of teacher managers.
Other recent publications by the Working Group include:
- Progress Through Self-Evaluation - The Path to a Better School
- Setting Staffing Standards
The TMS program also produces a Newsletter, TMS News. A Reference Guide for Teacher Management is expected to be published in 1999.
Training various categories of education officers has been a strategic priority in the TMS program. Training aims to sharpen management skills, to build confidence and also to assist local provision of better services in the education sector. Training activities have been organized in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, The Gambia, Ghana, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Although the WGTP has concentrated on addressing key practical issues and problems, Country Working Groups have been encouraged to address policy reform issues through constructive dialogue, advocacy, and research into relevant TMS problems. Other milestones include the sustainability of the TMS program. WGTP and its TMS program have been recognised as frameworks and mechanisms for positive change. Ministries of Education have maintained their strong support and commitment to WGTP objectives. A strong partnership between all key actors has contributed to sustaining the program. Local ownership of the TMS program has been achieved through the creation of local structures and WGTP's mode of consultation and implementation of program activities.
The last WGTP review meeting held in Zanzibar in July 1998 urged the group to pay attention to teacher education, training and professional support issues. A baseline study of Teacher Resource Centers in nine African countries is in progress as follow up action to the Zanzibar meeting.
Leader of the Working Group on the Teaching Profession, anglophone section
Resource Materials for School Inspectors - Better Schools Series
(ADEA / Commonwealth Secretariat / Ministries of Education-SADC, 1998.)
Module 1: A Trainer's Guide for the Induction of Newly Appointed School Inspectors
Module 2: A Self-Study Guide for Newly Appointed School Inspectors
Module 3: A Trainer's guide for Inset of Serving Inspectors
Module 4: A Self-Study Guide for Serving School Inspectors