VSO/OLE Ghana TEST Deployed

VSO/OLE Ghana TEST Deployed

As part of VSO’s Tackling Education Needs Inclusively (TENI) programme, (an eight-year innovative initiative supported by Comic Relief, a UK grant-making organisation, which brings together government, community leaders, education professionals and civil society in the three northern regions of Ghana to improve the retention and performance of children in school), VSO is working to identify innovative ways in which mobile technology in Ghana can be used to address such challenges to improve the quality of education.

Thus with funding from Stavros Niachos Foundation, VSO is partnering OLE Ghana to extend the TENI programme to include a controlled pilot known as Teacher Empowerment through Support and Technology (TEST). TEST seeks to provide quality resources for reading instruction and change teacher practice in order to improve reading outcomes in primary schools in particular for girls and Children with Disabilities (CWD). Under this initiative, VSO will select 20 schools, some on the TENI project, located in the district of West Mamprusi, Northern Region and in the district of Talensi, Upper East Region. The goal will be to reach approximately 4,800 school children through 120 teachers.

As part of processes leading to the deployment of the TEST Programme, OLE Ghana developed an operational mobile platform for teacher professional development and collaboration, housing curriculum-based lesson plans and resources (including stories, songs, comprehension questions, assessment tests) for the full school year as part of a mobile platform for sustainable teacher professional development and networking.

Prior to Deployment, OLE Ghana organized a 4-day working session in Accra from the 29th of August to 1st of September 2016 for key personnel that were going to form part of the Project/Deployment implementation team. This was done to bring together key implementation stake holders to, among other things to familiarize themselves with the whole concept of the TEST programme and also discuss implementation strategies and administrative issue for the smooth-running and success of the programme.

Deployment took place from the 4th to the 6th of September 2016. It was mainly to give the initial training to the teachers and heads of the selected schools as well as other stake holders. These included the district directors, C.S and other front liners of the two selected districts of education. The training was conducted simultaneously in the two pilot districts. Activities carried out included plenary sessions, group discussions, panel discussions, individual work on lesson plans and presentations. Deployment proved to be very successful with the beneficiaries excited and eager for the intervention. Below are some memorable scenes from the deployment!