Across sub-Saharan Africa, the educational system is in disrepair. Working with limited budgets, education systems have improved access to education across the board but have not enhanced the quality of the learning experience. Thus, while more than half of teenagers are now enrolled in secondary schools, up 20 percentage points from 1990, fewer and fewer are passing their terminal exams.
Directly related to declining student outcomes are teaching gaps: Approximately 4 million more teachers will be needed by 2015, and more than half of existing teachers in secondary schools lack the proper training to present subjects well and motivate their students.
The Institute of Teacher Education and Development (INTED), founded by Kwabena Amporful, MBA ’08, is an independent, nonprofit organization that is designed to help address the crisis by improving the quality of teaching, the most important determinant of student achievement outcomes. While solutions in the past have involved multiple actors spanning several countries and operating at different levels of education, this project builds in-country capacity and initially focuses on the secondary level of education in one country: Ghana. Its five-year “trainer of trainers” approach will build the capacity of teachers and administrators in 10% of the secondary schools in Ghana. Participants will benefit from summer intensives in content, pedagogy, and peer training offered by outside institutions, as well as ongoing evaluation and support during the academic year.
INTED, which will run initially on grants and donations, will eventually create a self-sustaining infrastructure in which alumni of the program will become trainers throughout the country. Over time, this capacity-building solution will be replicated in other West African nations, which have a similar education curriculum.