Stories: Building Teacher Capacity - Training Teachers to be Resilient, Adaptable, and Ambitious - South Sudan
This story was collected as part of INEE's 20th Anniversary commemoration to highlight how education in the midst of crisis and upheaval has made a difference for our members and those they work with (learners, youth, teachers, caregivers, etc.). For more stories, click here.
Building Teacher Capacity - Training Teachers to be Resilient, Adaptable, and Ambitious
Name: Victoria Pendry
Organization: The Curriculum Foundation
Location: South Sudan
Before Covid-19, South Sudan had the highest global rate of children out of school according to UNESCO. There are persistent obstacles to increasing access and improving the quality of education. This is exacerbated by the impact of violent conflict and extended school closures from Covid-19. Only 23% (across all sectors) of teachers are trained and schools are poorly resourced (approximately only 50% permanent classrooms). The challenge for teacher trainers is immense!
The Curriculum Foundation has been working in South Sudan since 2014 in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, predominantly, the Ministry of Education. A new National Curriculum has been developed, featuring cross-cutting issues of Peace Education, Life-Skills and Environmental Sustainability. It was implemented in January 2019 but will now suffer significantly from the interruption caused by school closures.
The teacher trainers shown in this photo (April 2019) are committed to the successful implementation of the new curriculum. They recognise the scale of the challenge of change. To build the capacity of teachers and school systems in this volatile context, teacher trainers need to be resilient and adaptable, ambitious and aspirational. Developing this growth mindset relies upon context specific, high quality resources and a commitment from supporting agencies to engage in reflexive practice for sustainable development.
The Curriculum Foundation is committed to continuing to support teacher training in South Sudan. Over the last 6 months, incorporating aspects of the INEE Minimum Standards, a new teacher training syllabus has been developed for Qualified Teacher Status. This has been adapted so that it is accessible to In-Service Teachers also. It is hoped that this fresh approach to CPD, will invigorate the profession, raising its status and impact across the country for the sake of some of the most vulnerable children, in the world’s newest country.
The views expressed in this blog are the author's own.