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Teacher Empowerment Through Support And Technology

The Teacher Empowerment through Support and Technology (TEST) pilot project is a VSO Ghana pilot intervention with support from Stavros Niarchos Foundation. It formed part of VSO’s 8-year Tackling Education Needs Inclusively (TENI) programme to improve retention and performance of children in the northern regions of Ghana. The pilot project took place from May 2016 to July 2017 in twenty public basic schools - ten each from the Talensi and West Mamprusi Districts in Upper East and Northern Region respectively. The pilot project was implemented by Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Ghana.

TEST focused on improvement in teacher pedagogy skills, especially regarding quality of reading instruction, which was measured largely through increased pupils’ learning and reading. The pilot project therefore placed emphasis on providing support to teachers in the form of face to face and online coaching as well as the supply of technology-assisted materials. An online one-stop teachers’ portal has been developed by OLE Ghana as part of the support given where teachers can find quality learner and teacher professional development resources of various kinds, can seek peer support as well as counselling from experts.

The concept of Gamification as a learning tool was also employed as one of the pilot strategies. District Education officers, Heads, Teachers and pupils both reinforced skills learnt on the project and exhibited them by taking part in various competitions organized around teachers’ reading skills, lesson notes preparation, lesson delivery, writing of stories by pupils, best monitoring practices  and best supervisory practices.

Findings by external evaluators demonstrate among other things that the number of teachers expected to access the platform doubled. More than 1,000 resources were uploaded onto the platform.  More growing number of teachers has improved in phonics and reading instruction with teachers in the beneficiary schools now teaching phonics without much difficulty. These changes in the view of the evaluators were indicative of improving positive change in teachers’ attitude towards their profession. Findings also indicated that teachers can now integrate technology in their lesson delivery with majority now being able to go onto the internet to search for resources to aid in their teaching and using them in their instruction. 

With regards to pupils’ performance, the evaluation results also show that there were statistical significant differences between mean scores in the six test areas of the EGRA/FLAT. On average, girls performed better than boys, while children with disabilities also saw a significant improvement over the intervention period.

OLE Ghana is hoping that as a matter of urgency funding could be sourced to consolidate the gains made during the pilot, deepen the lessons learnt and share these with other teachers and the educational community. Partnerships in this regard will be more than welcome.


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