Teacher Education Project: Educate the Educators

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Education occupies a crucial role in successful, sustainable development around the world. And without well-educated teachers, the battle to educate students will be that much harder. In Pakistan the U.S. Association for International Development has established an initiative to help support the country’s efforts to improve education quality by better preparing its teachers to be educators.

The USAID Teacher Education Project is a five-year initiative to support Pakistan’s efforts to improve basic education by giving new and practicing teachers greater access to programs that will refresh their skills and teach them a standardized curriculum to improve both teaching qualifications and classroom effectiveness. Through the Teacher Education Project teachers in Pakistan can participate in either a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Education or a two-year Associate Degree in Education to refresh the skills they already have, and learn new approaches to use in the classroom.

“The United States is committed to building security in Pakistan. There is no better way to do this than to help ensure that Pakistanis have the education they need to find jobs, start businesses, support their families and community, and contribute to the growth of this great nation,” said the U.S. Consul General Michael Dodman at a recent ceremony where teachers received scholarship awards.

The Teacher Education Project works closely with the Higher Education Commission, provincial education departments and teacher training institutes in Pakistan to keep in line with the National Education Policy that is in place. Teachers College, Columbia University and Education Development Center Inc. are both partners in the initiative.

On May 30, 2013 students enrolled in the two- and four-year programs through the Teachers Education Project received scholarships for their studies. The goal of the scholarships was to attract more people to the teaching profession.

According to the initiative’s website, the goals of the Teacher Education Project are:

  • to improve provincial policies and systems that support teacher educators, teachers and educational managers
  • to support the Higher Education Commission and provincial teacher institutes to develop, revise, evaluate and finalize a standardized curriculum for teaching degrees; and
  • to develop a plan to implement the new teacher curriculum.

The project launched last year at 86 colleges and 13 universities. In all the initiative will invest $75 million into educating teachers in Pakistan. More than 2,800 prospective teachers are enrolled in programs at colleges and another 1,200 are enrolled in universities, all supported by USAID.

-Liza Casabona

Sources: The Express Tribune, USAID Teacher Education Project
Photo: Weasel Zippers

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