“There has been remarkable improvement in attendance and punctuality on the part of teachers and pupils, because of the child centered learning methods we have been introduced to.” says Mrs Christiana Allahmagani, head teacher at Sabon Gari School. She benefited from the School Improvement Programme in Kaduna State, supported by UKaid through the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria.
“The training has also helped to build good working relationships between head teachers, teachers, and Local Government Education Authority staff”
ESSPIN worked with the recently formed Kaduna State School Improvement Team (SSIT), drawn from the local Gidan Waya College of Education, to provide a new modular in-service training for about 250 District Education Officers, District Education Supervisors and Head Teachers. ESSPIN has also provided support visits to strengthen head teachers capacity to carry out school based tasks. The head teachers were trained on leadership, school management, School Self Evaluation, School Development Planning and delegation of duties to colleagues. Teachers will soon be included in the programme.
Bibiana Deshi, lecturer at Gidan Waya and a member of State School Improvement Team (SSIT) in Kaduna, thinks she is now a better lecturer, mentor, and supporter to head teachers, teachers and Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) staff. With the new skills acquired from ESSPIN, Bibiana is able to organise small scale training for head teachers and teachers using the ESSPIN developed modules. 43 head teachers in schools in Kachia district have benefited from Bibiana’s input.
Reflecting on her own professional development, she says ‘I was supposed to train future teachers, I couldn’t tolerate any performance below average, but now I’m more sympathetic towards slow learners so they are happy participating in class activities and I’ve seen improvements.”
This teacher training initiative is part of ESSPIN’s contribution to helping the Nigerian government improve teaching and learning in schools using available resources. Schools are at the heart of ESSPIN because they provide the environment in which children learn. Quality schools are staffed by quality teachers. Current training and career development of teachers in Nigeria provide teachers with few incentives. Well-structured career development plans and performance-based incentives, together with changes in the way principals and teachers are selected and made accountable to parents and the communities they serve, will help improve the quality of education for Kaduna’s 1 million primary school children. ESSPIN supports simultaneous action on multiple fronts. Support for schools is accompanied by support for communities and support for Federal, State and Local Government to develop effective education policies, plans and budgets.