Blog: Better learning through better teaching

Blog: Better learning through better teaching

Por Janet Lennox, Especialista de Educação.

Claudio Fauvrelle
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MAPUTO, Mozambique - Today I am sitting with Martha Ostertag and Mário Armando who are part of a team within the National Teacher Training Department of the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH). The national team will hold three regional workshops for teacher trainers from teacher training institutes across Mozambique to prepare them to conduct in-service training of primary teachers from every primary school cluster in the country.

There are 84,000 teachers teaching 5.1 million students in Grades 1 to 5.

QUESTIONIn 2016, MINEDH approved a national in-service teacher training strategy for primary teachers developed with the support of UNICEF. What is different about this strategy compared to previous ones?

ANSWER: The previous in-service teacher training programme trained only 100-200 primary teachers per year, meaning that in-service teacher training was once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at best. The current strategy aims to reach all 84,000 Grade 1-5 teachers every year using sharing sessions amongst them at the school cluster level whereby the teachers who received the training in person shares with his or her peers. Another important difference is that the current national strategy takes a practical, hands on approach rather than theoretical one. Finally, the in-service teacher training programme is a continuous cycle of training rather than a one-off event, which allows both trainers and teachers alike to build on their experience from year to year and hone their craft.

Q: UNICEF is financing in-person workshops to prepare teacher trainers from all of the Teacher Training Institutes across the country. Why are these workshops important?

A: Teacher trainers deliver training the way they themselves have been trained. The teacher trainers practiced the participatory methodologies in the workshops. They will ensure the primary teachers have the same hands-on opportunity.

Q: Who will be going to these regional preparation workshops?

A: Every Teacher Training Institute will send the Pedagogical Director and a Math or Portuguese teacher trainer. The expectation is that they will share with all trainers at their respective Teacher Training Institute. In this way, the peer-to-peer model of pedagogical support (lesson study) model taught in the national in-service teacher training programme will go beyond primary teachers to be part of the professional development of teacher trainers. The trainers will also be able to apply it in both the pre-service and in-service teacher training they carry out, promoting reflective teaching practice in those studying to become primary teachers as well as those already on the job. Provincial education officials from every province will also attend as will a number of district officials. This is important to ensure proper monitoring at the district level.

Q:  How will the national in-service teacher training programme improve the quality of primary education in Mozambique?

A: We hope better teaching will bring about better learning. The idea to move away from the prevailing “chalk and talk” approach where teachers mechanically copy bits of their manual on the blackboard and lecture their students from the front of the class with the idea that children should stay quiet and just listen to the teacher. We want to see a variety of different methodologies that actively engaging children in learning. The student should be at the centre of learning. If the suggested methodologies are applied by teachers, the quality of teaching will improve.

Q: How many students are taught by the teachers this training programme aims to reach?

A: There are 84,000 teachers teaching 5.1 million students in Grades 1 to 5. Joining forces, the Government and partners, we can hope of reaching these numbers.


For more information, please contact:

Claudio Fauvrelle
Tel +258 21 481 100

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