OER’s in Sub-Saharan Africa – an appropriate response to the challenge of Education for All? The TESSA experience in Zambia.

The initiatives of Education For All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) have helped put the debate surrounding basic education firmly in the educational, developmental and economic spotlight. They have led to an expansion of education at primary level in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This expansion brings with it its own set of challenges, not least of all the need for an increase in teacher numbers and in the quality of teaching in schools. Without reference to such challenges EFA is likely to become limited in its achievement. This paper describes and critically analyses an example of a response to these needs through the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) initiative. TESSA seeks to bring together teachers and teacher educators from across 9 African countries in a consortium including the Open University UK. It has developed a range of Open Educational Resources in four languages to support school based teacher education and training. Materials are versioned to suit the needs of individual countries and institutions. This paper analyses the underlying principles and progress to date of TESSA, using, amongst other things, the experiences of the author in TESSA activities.

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