New initiatives in secondary schools

A key priority for Windle Trust International in South Sudan in the future will be to explore different ways of improving teaching and learning outcomes in secondary schools as well as to enable more women to enter, and remain in, the profession.

Currently, nearly 90% of secondary school teachers are male and such an unbalanced work force is unlikely to make staying on at secondary school attractive to young women or acceptable to their parents. With support from a number of charitable trusts in the UK, we have created a teacher training scholarships fund to enable young women from all over South Sudan to enrol in a two years diploma course for initial teacher training. Because there is no teacher training institute in South Sudan specialising in secondary school teacher education, we are arranging for this group of trainee teachers to attend a teacher training institute in Northern Uganda.

The secondary school teachers’ scholarships programme will be open to female candidates from all over South Sudan. Successful applicants will be expected to complete a two years diploma level course and to return to South Sudan after graduation.

Simultaneously, a second initiative is designed to explore the potential for school-based professional development of headteachers and teachers. It recognises that many of the teachers who are already in place need to improve their own knowledge and teaching skills and will do this more effectively if they are encouraged and supported by a headteacher who is committed to improving educational outcomes.

We are working hand in hand with The Open University in the UK on developing a tailored course to meet priority needs. To identify these needs, we will work with teachers and headteachers themselves and shape a course that has been designed to meet observed and expressed priorities. The Open University will not only help to support teacher development over the course of the project but will also assess its impact and effectiveness.