Posted by: africanpressorganization | 17 March 2010

International Conference on Multi-Grade Education will develop policy and strategy to address teacher shortages and improve teaching and learning in rural and hard-to reach areas

 


 

 

International Conference on Multi-Grade Education will develop policy and strategy to address teacher shortages and improve teaching and learning in rural and hard-to reach areas

 

 

PRETORIA, South Africa, March 17, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The conference will be held at the Cape Peninsula University for Technology (CPUT) in
Wellington, South Africa, March 22-24, 2010

 

 

In Africa and large parts of the developing world, about 50% of primary school children are in rural areas. These millions of rural learners are marginalized due to failed education practices that do not make provision for education techniques to give the child a real chance of successfully completing primary education.

 

Acknowledging this has led the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Center for Multi-Grade Education to explore multi-grade teaching practices, curriculum and teacher resources as a strategy for supporting the delivery of primary education, addressing teacher shortages and improving teaching and learning in rural and hard-to-reach areas and as a strategy.

 

Teacher shortages remain a serious concern holding back the attainment of Education For All (EFA) goals. It is estimated that 1.9 Million new teacher posts will be needed to achieve Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015. An additional 8.4 Million primary teachers will have to be recruited and trained worldwide to replace existing teachers that are expected to retire or leave their posts before 2015, adding up to a total of 10.3 Million new teachers required.

 

Teacher shortages are particularly acute in rural and hard-to reach areas with small school enrolments.

In many countries, the lack of teachers has been aggravated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic impact, which has increased teacher absenteeism, a problem also addressed by multi-grade teaching.

While multi-grade teaching has emerged as an innovative strategy for delivering education targeting the unreached, it is often hampered by the lack of learning materials and relevant teacher training. Multi-grade teaching requires the specialized training of educators to ensure that learning remains effective when they simultaneously teach children of different grades.

The Conference on Multi-Grade Teaching will bring to the fore experiences and best practices from African countries (Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia) and other regions of the world (Australia, Colombia, Greece, India, Iran, Samoa and Sri Lanka).

 

The conference will also provide an opportunity to share lessons learnt from training workshops in multi-grade teaching undertaken over the last four years in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim by ADEA’s Working Group on the Teaching Profession (WGTP) and the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with Ministries of Education.

 

Results of a recent baseline study on multi-grade teaching in Southern Africa, conducted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Centre for Multi-Grade Education (CME) will also feed into the conference debates. The Centre for Multi-grade Education (CME) was established in 2009 through a grant from the Royal Netherlands Government to enhance the development of multi-grade education and the chances of success of rural primary school children. The Centre trains teachers to be able to deal effectively with multi-grade environments and provides pupils and teachers with curriculum and teacher resources specifically geared towards this pedagogic approach.

 

Expected outcomes of the conference are a generic policy and implementation strategy for multi-grade education that will be submitted to governments and education departments in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Rim and South America.

 

Conference participants will come from Africa and other regions and will include decision-makers of Ministries and Departments of Education, multi-grade managers and teachers as well as representatives of higher education and research institutions and NGOs.

 

The Conference is organized by the CPUT Centre for Multi-Grade Education, ADEA’s Working Group on the Teaching Profession (WGTP) and the Commonwealth Secretariat, with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in South Africa. The official opening is planned on Monday morning March 22, at the CPUT Centre for Multi-Grade Education.

 

SOURCE 

Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)


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