Multi-Grade Education in Africa and Other Regions

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The ADEA Working Group on the Teaching Profession, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Centre for Multi-Grade Teaching (CMT) of the Cape Peninsula University for Technology (CPUT) is holding a conference on Multi-Grade Teaching this week. The conference is being held on the CPUT campus in Wellington, South Africa, from March 22-24, 2010.

Throughout the history of schooling, many teachers have found themselves confronted with the situation of teaching two or more age groups in the same classroom. Multi-grade teaching is often implemented as a necessity to address teacher shortages, maximize the use of scarce educational resources, assist countries to achieve the MDGs and EFA goals or to address teacher absenteeism due to the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

While multi-grade teaching can be effective, it is often hampered by the lack of learning materials and relevant teacher training. Acknowledging this has led the ADEA Working Group on the Teaching Profession and its partners to explore multi-grade teaching policies, practices and curriculum as well as resources available to teachers. The Wellington conference will discuss lessons learnt and best practices from African countries such as Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, and from other regions of the world such as Australia, Colombia, Greece, India, Iran, Samoa and Sri Lanka. Expected outcomes include a generic policy and implementation strategy for multi-grade education that will be submitted to governments and education departments in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Rim and South America.

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