Support for Ugandan Primary Education Reform Project (1993-2000)

The Support for Ugandan Primary Education Reform (SUPER) Project was a collaborative project between the Center for International Education (CIE), the Academy for Educational Development and Creative Associates from 1993-2000. The SUPER project focused on three areas of policy reform for primary education: 1) professionalization of teachers, 2) enhancement of community participation in education, and 3) allocation of resources for instructional materials. Ultimately, the project's goals were to have more teachers spending more time at school teaching effective lessons, using more instructional materials in the classroom, and having a better managed flow of resources to schools.

 

The major project activity was the development of an integrated teacher-support system called the Teacher Development and Management System (TDMS). TDMS was an innovative method to link Core Primary Teachers' Colleges (PTCs) to schools through a three-tiered network: 1) the PTC at the center; 2) "Coordinating Centers" in the catchment areas of the PTC, specially equipped to serve as mini teacher-resource centers; and 3) outreach schools linked to the Coordinating Centers. Each Coordinating Center was staffed by a Coordinating Center Tutor (CCT) who worked with a cluster of about 18 outreach schools. The CCT resided at one of the schools and daily served the teachers, head teachers, parents, school management committee and others at his/her school and other schools in the cluster. Originally designed for implementation in 10 districts, the TDMS system was gradually expanded to cover all districts and all government-aided schools (over 9000).

 

A major task of the SUPER project was to reorient teacher training away from residential, pre-service training and toward in-service, school-based support. The new PTCs, which required a different internal structure and revised staffing patterns, devoted at least half of their staff time and other resources to working with teachers already in the classroom. Pre-service trainees likewise spent more time in classrooms, observing or doing supervised practice teaching.

 

Programs were established for: supporting girls’ education, out of school pupils, mobilizing parents to undertake activities that improved pupil learning, classroom instruction, revision of the primary curriculum, training outreach tutors, revision of the teacher training curriculum and for national and continuous assessment.

 

 

The reform was unusually successful and became a model for other countries. The project consolidated the reforms and integrated them into the regular Ministry of Education structures. There are many exciting innovations in TDMS that helped to transform the way teachers were recruited, trained and supported in Uganda's primary schools.

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