Transforming Uganda’s youth through Instructional Leaders
The Varkey Foundation’s Instructional Leadership Programme
20 July 2017
Over a quarter of a million Ugandan children now have access to a quality teacher, thanks to The Varkey Foundation’s Instructional Leadership Programme.
The Varkey Foundation established the Instructional Leadership Programme in Uganda in 2013 to address the challenges around the quality of in-service training for teachers in the country, as well as the persistence of poor teaching and learning in classrooms. In 2015, OPEC Fund for International Development invested $300,000 into the programme’s sustained growth.
The Varkey Foundation’s ultimate aim is to create a sustainable education system that benefits Ugandan children, and therefore the country. Since 2013, the Varkey Foundation’s Instructional Leadership Programme has:
• Trained 9.2% of Uganda’s primary teachers. The programme has directly trained 6,000 in-service and pre-service teachers to become classroom and school leaders in over 700 Primary schools.
• Given a quarter of a million Ugandan children access to a quality teacher (and that number is growing fast).
• Established 13 professional learning communities.
• Transformed Kibuli Primary Teachers College into a high-quality institution using state-of-the-art training techniques.
• Given two District Education Offices access to more accurate and robust data on the status of schools in their districts.
• Created happier and more motivated teachers.
Tailored training and support for teachers
There are a number of reasons why the teacher training system is currently failing Ugandan children. They include chronic teacher shortages, which are projected to worsen over the next 10 years, as well as a lack of adequate training for teachers entering the profession and few opportunities for working teachers to develop their skills.
The Varkey Foundation developed its Instructional Leadership Programme to address these issues. The programme delivers a tailored suite of training and support to teachers and school leaders. It uses a series of different approaches, including trainings for school leaders and tutors in Primary Teachers Training Colleges, the creation of satellite schools and Continuous Professional Development.
The programme delivers:
• Better teachers. Instructional Leadership improves teaching practice or pedagogy through more interactive, student-led teaching and learning.
• Greater support. Instructional Leadership establishes support structures for teachers through Professional Learning Networks.
• Better classrooms. Instructional Leadership creates more equitable classrooms and better environments for learning.
• Improved systems. Instructional Leadership ignites and embeds school improvement and monitoring systems of teaching quality at school and district level.
High impact, low cost
The Varkey Foundation’s Instructional Leadership Programme has already had major impact in primary schools within Kampala, Mpigi, and Mukono.
• By directly training 6000 teachers, the ILP model has been cascaded to a further 20,000 teachers following the initial training investment.
• 87% of schools with Instructional Leaders were rated as good and outstanding based on a comprehensive school assessment.
• 97% of the schools had carried elements of the Instructional Leadership Programme into the classroom.
• 71% of schools now have an Action Plan.
• 89% of learners interviewed “strongly agreed” that the “school improves every year”.*
• Over 70% of pupils said that they felt that they learnt better.*
(*Sample size: 94)