APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
For this commitment, GEMS will utilize a 'head of the stream' approach that will concentrate resources on training the most influential members of each nation's educational system, school principals and identified faculty from Teacher Training Institute's (or similar agency), who will then be able to train their peers and teachers working with them in their school, thus maximizing the effectiveness and reach of the commitment. The initial group of principals that are trained will serve as official GEMS trainers and they will be responsible for training other principals. Materials will be provided to this initial cohort of 'Master Trainers' to ensure consistent scale-up and cascading, whilst working towards consistent replication. Other processes, such as base facilitator kits, will be developed to maintain quality assurance and program fidelity.
The project will include the compilation of baseline information on the status and the needs of principals in the three targeted countries. By partnering with UNESCO, The Varkey GEMS Foundation will be able to use UNESCO's field presence and networks of national authorities and Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) to tailor the training programs to the needs of each nation, increasing the effectiveness of the work.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
The duration of this project will be four years. During the first year, the Varkey GEMS Foundation will train an initial group of 50-60 lead or Master trainers in each of the three countries served by this commitment. This group of 50-60 trainers (in each country) will be drawn from Teacher Training Institutions and colleges of Education from each commitment host nation. GEMS staff will work with these initial teams of 50-60 Master trainers to support their efforts to train 500 principals in Ghana, Kenya and India in the second year of the commitment and help ensure the consistency of training methods as they expand the initial trainer network in subsequent years. The initial identification of the first 50-60 Master trainers is very important and 'identification criteria' will form an important part of the selection and commitment of this group of 50-60 over the four year period in each country. In year three of the commitment the 500 trained principals will, in teams of 10, be responsible for the training of a total of 1,400 principals in each country, for a total of 4,200 principals trained in years three. In year four of the commitment, the 500 principals will again train 1,400 principals in each country for a total of 4,200 principals trained in all three countries. The total number of principals trained will be 10,050 over the four year commitment period. Allowing for some attrition, the actual numbers of clusters will be established in consultation with UNESCO and in-country support officers.
At all stages, The Varkey GEMS Foundation will support the scalability by having quality assurance processes in place, as well as ongoing access to remote support. Each year the first group of trainers will be involved in ensuring the quality of the training, backstopping the newly trained principals in using the skills acquired in their routine practices for managing schools. An online forum will be established and made available program participants in order to share their experiences and seek peer-to-peer consul and advice. An annual five day forum will be organized for live interaction and feedback by the participants, representatives of their communities, UNESCO, and the Varkey GEMS Foundation. Lessons learnt will be disseminated and new support material disseminated.
In many developing countries, school administrators, including principals, scarcely receive training that allows them to perform to expectations and sometimes principals and school administrators are appointed with no school leadership training at all. Additionally, many teachers in developing nations also lack sufficient training and school leaders are expected to provide them pedagogical support, as well as assume a guidance and counseling role for teachers, learners, and parents. The principal is also in charge of developing a curriculum, maintaining school finances and planning school activities. All of these roles require skills, knowledge and aptitude to create and maintain school learning environments that are conducive to success. Kenya, Ghana and India are committed to transforming the educational system and recognize school principals as key players in this process. The focus for the Varkey GEMS Foundation is to take the existing reports that have been prepared for education reform in these three countries and focus on delivering professional development to leaders.