Enugu State in collaboration with the UKaid-ESSPIN conducted an assessment to identify the training needs of primary and junior secondary school teachers in order to improve the conditions of teaching and learning in schools. A sample of 3196 teachers from the 17 LGAs in the state participated in the assessment during the last quarter of the year 2010.
”The Teachers Development Needs Assessment (TDNA) is part of a strategic plan from ESSPIN to support education systems reform in our state...,” says Godwin Nnamani, an education secretary and a centre coordinator in Udenu LGA, Enugu (left), during the TDNA exercise. “The TDNA result shows that we have succeeded in identifying the problem. If the capacities of teachers are built accordingly, there’ll certainly be a change in our education service delivery.” Godwin described the experience as enlightening, revealing the problems teachers were facing and the areas in which their capacities need to be built. “It is an acknowledged fact that we have problems with regards to teaching and learning; not that teachers do not have the qualifications, but the teachers need to upgrade themselves through training. Identifying the problems of our teachers is the first right step to take; the rest will follow. Let’s hope that the government will keep faith in this unique effort by ESSPIN.”
The TDNA exercise has laid the basis for policy discussions about teacher selection and recruitment, as well as teacher career paths and incentives. Following the sharing and discussion of the TDNA reports with stakeholders, a tailor-made School Improvement Programme (SIP) has been developed and rolled out in Enugu State. A key step in this direction was the training of a 12-member State School Improvement Team (SSIT) and 18 School Support Officers (SSOs), to drive change in the teaching-learning process in schools. The SSIT/SSOs so far has supported the training of 121 head teachers, 400 class teachers and SBMCs to carry out school development planning, school self-evaluation and improvements in teaching and learning in schools in Udi LGEA.
“This whole exercise is directed towards our children and giving them a future to look forward to; and ultimately the reason to live. If things go on as planned, we will make our schools places where teaching and learning actually happen...” says Godwin.
It is hoped that the TDNA exercise will inform the development and implementation of a sustainable teacher development programme for the state and, in turn, ensure that approximately 701,351 children in Enugu State will be achieve the learning outcome benchmarks.