Two new strands were proposed for the Warwick in Africa initiative in 2010 to be piloted in Ghana.
In 2010, we committed to extend our support in South Africa and Tanzania and build on our experience to introduce two new pilots in Ghana to be the catalyst for a major improvement in teacher knowledge, motivation and aspiration in math and English and to raise the knowledge, aspiration and self-belief of the children in math and English. By supporting both teachers and learners, we hoped to bring about a new dynamism in the Junior High Schools so they could have a sustainable impact on attainment.
A new approach was piloted in Ghana delivering Summer School classes for secondary aged pupils from four schools in Accra. Twelve Warwick students, who will have either completed their teacher training or undertaken a short teaching course, spent one week observing current teaching in Ghanaian schools and then delivered a summer school program in English and math to around 600 pupils in Junior High School years 1 and 2,aged 12 to 14, over three weeks.
A complementary pilot project was also developed and delivered providing specialist support for up to 270 Ghanaian math and English teachers through an intensive course in pedagogy and classroom management and subject specific skills. The teacher training 'master classes' program was developed and delivered by academics in the University of Warwick's Institute of Education and alumni of the University now working as teaching professionals.
This is a high quality program based on proof of concept and judicious use of philanthropic investment. It is scalable, replicable and sustainable across many international borders.
In 2006, the University of Warwick made a commitment to improve education in Africa and began a journey to develop an action based approach to address current gaps in secondary school education. The project combines the skills and experience of Warwick's Institute of Education, ranked 8th in the UK for research quality, and the Warwick Mathematics Institute, ranked 2nd in the UK, with partner universities in Africa of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and the University of Ghana, Accra.
In the pilot year, 12 undergraduate mathematicians who had taken a short course in teaching taught in a combination of sub-urban and townships schools in Johannesburg. It quickly became clear that the township schools would benefit the most from the math lessons delivered by the Warwick students. It was also clear that many of the teachers in the township schools benefited from seeing new methods of teaching and from subject specific support in new areas of the math curriculum. By 2009, the Warwick in Africa project had developed into a program which:
- Delivered 180 student teaching weeks of math curriculum
-Taught 6,500 learners in South Africa and Tanzania for ?20 per child.
- Improved class attendance by up to 75%
- Improved test results by 30 - 40%
- Identified gifted and talented learners
- Created a local community of the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY) Warwick's gifted and talented program http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/iggy
- Brought three IGGY scholars to a two week IGGY U intensive course at Warwick where they focused on a theme of Enterprise or Physics and Chemistry to Save the World
- Empowered IGGY Members in South Africa to define the content of the next Warwick Junior Commission that will determine the key drivers which cause people to use and abuse the environment and how these drivers can be challenged.
- Enabled seven township teachers to attend two week study tour at Warwick impacting very significantly on their own skill sets and motivation and aspiration as well as bringing a new vitality to the schools where they work
The Student Teaching model is a scalable sustainable and highly cost effective model delivering immediate and ongoing benefits to the African pupils in partner schools. In each year of development, new pilots have been run to test potential expansion of the program whilst ensuring quality. Sustainability is enhanced by supporting teachers both through a two week tailored study tour at the University of Warwick and through all teachers in the African partner schools witnessing new teaching methods first hand and developing their subject specific knowledge in new areas of the curriculum through contact with the Warwick students.
Support and links developed with our partner university and township schools in South Africa have enabled additional educational opportunities to be provided for gifted pupils through the University of Warwick's International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY). Teachers were supported in identifying 43 of their gifted pupils to become foundation members of IGGY. Three of these pupils were fully funded to attend a life changing summer school at the University of Warwick in 2009 and a community of gifted learners has been created and nurtured through regular IGGY events at the University of the Witwatersrand. It is hoped that a group of these gifted learners will be funded to attend the IGGY summer school to take place in Botswana in August 2010.
The Warwick in Africa program is completely funded by philanthropic donations from alumni and friends of Warwick, Barclays Capital and other foundations.
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$375,000.00 is still needed to complete the objectives of this commitment.
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