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Strengthening school-based in-service teacher mentorship and support

As many countries in sub-Saharan Africa grapple with acute shortages of qualified teachers for their rapidly expanding basic education sectors, the potential significance of continuous professional development is gaining wider recognition. However, many in-service teachers in sub-Saharan Africa do not adequately benefit from meaningful continuous professional development that can enhance their capacity. Among the challenges they face are inadequate content mastery, lack of pedagogical skills, and large classes. One proven approach to enhancing teacher professional development is in-service teacher mentorship and support that involves building the capacity of experienced teachers to provide guidance to other teachers. Well-designed teacher mentorship and support programs have been documented to be both an effective and cost-effective form of professional development. Teacher mentorship programs exist across countries in sub-Saharan Africa but there is inadequate evidence on the sustainability and efficiency of these programs, especially for teachers at the secondary-school level.

This project will adapt and scale up a teacher mentorship and support model known as School-based In-service Teacher Training (SITT), a practice-based approach that involves training experienced teachers and college tutors to mentor secondary-school teachers through peer-learning exchange, model lessons, and team teaching. SITT was first piloted in select districts in Tanzania in 2003 and has since been successfully adapted across Tanzania’s primary schools. The project will contextualize and adapt this model to secondary schools in Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia. The project’s intended outcome is strengthened government efforts to implement well-functioning school-based in-service teacher-training programs that improve the quality of teaching, empower students, and enhance the quality of basic education.

This project is one of six projects selected through a Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange call for proposals in East, West, and Southern Africa: Generating and mobilizing innovative knowledge for regional education challenges.

Project ID
Project Status
30 months
IDRC Officer
Joy Nafungo
Total Funding
CA$ 1,175,400.00
Education and Science
Knowledge and Innovation Exchange Program
Institution Country
Dar es Salaam University College of Education