This report combines learning from primary research undertaken by CfBT Education Trust and VSO in thirteen developing countries and from other available national level research and international synthesis reports concerning the human resource aspects of quality education and in particular the role of teachers.
For the quality of teaching and learning to be improved the report argues that:
• the role of head teachers is crucial for improving teacher management and teacher motivation and ultimately for improving learning outcomes for girls and boys.
The introduction of management training for school leaders should be prioritised
• management of education has many dimensions, but the biggest investment of funds and human resources has always been and should always be in teachers.
• the quality of teacher training dictates the quality of teaching. Moves to reduce the length and quality of pre-service teacher training to cut costs and meet the demand are damaging the quality of teaching and learning.
• gender and inclusion should be addressed in teacher management and training systems: to ensure that there are a representative number of positive role models for girls, boys, children with disabilities and those from other excluded groups; so that teachers enjoy equal pay and conditions; and so that girls and so called ‘hard to reach’ children have a better chance of improved learning outcomes.
Recommendations to developing country governments:
1. Stronger management systems, better decision-making and clearer roles and responsibilities
For governments to:
• develop and use effective Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) at central, local and school levels to enable better planning and management in the training, recruitment, deployment and CPD of teachers
• encourage the active participation and involvement of teachers and headteachers in decision-making with clearly defined roles and responsibilities
• strengthen systems for the training, recruitment and deployment of teachers, including the provision of appropriate incentives for teachers working in hardship posts
• work to reduce pupil-teacher ratios to the UNESCO recommended level of 40:1 and avoid double and triple shifting unless different teachers are used for different shifts.
2. More flexible fiscal management policies
For governments to:
• improve salaries, incentives, living and working conditions for teachers, including making adequate arrangements for maternity and paternity leave
• invest in the capacity building of Teacher Training Institutions
• where the use of para-teacher1 schemes is necessary in the short- to medium-term to attract and retain teachers in remote areas, ensure that appropriate levels of in-service training are given to para-teachers that enables them to qualify as regular teachers in the longer-term.
3. More sufficient and appropriate management of workforce skills
For governments to:
• ensure that pre-service teacher training duration is at least one year or if shorter, is coupled with adequate and formalised in-service training of a comparable level and quality
• provide all teachers with training and access to information about inclusion, focusing on gender and disability (and where appropriate on class, caste, language of instruction,
HIV and AIDS or other context specific dimensions of exclusion) as part of their pre- and in-service teacher training
• provide effective CPD, leadership and school management training to ensure teachers, headteachers and educational administrators are adequately equipped and enabled to provide children with a good quality education
• put in place transparent appraisal systems for teachers and administrative staff
• prohibit discrimination against women, people with disabilities and minorities in teacher recruitment, posting and promotion systems through the use of laws, guidelines, codes of ethics, and monitoring and evaluation systems
• encourage women, people with disabilities and minorities to enter or remain in the teaching profession, by providing appropriate incentives and allowances.
Recommendations to donors, inter-governmental organisations and teachers’ unions
4. More flexible partnerships with developing country governments should support:
• improved EMIS to inform systems for the training, recruitment, deployment and CPD of teachers
• improved salaries, incentives, living and working conditions for teachers and headteachers
• capacity building for teacher and headteacher training including ensuring that advice provided on teacher training issues does not negatively impact the quality of teaching and learning
• capacity development of education managers in schools, and at district, provincial and national levels
• effective appraisal systems for teachers and administrative staff.