Investment in quality teacher training needed to improve learning, says VSO’s CEO

Investment in quality teacher training needed to improve learning, says VSO’s CEO

Increasing investment in teachers’ continuous professional development is crucial to improving learning outcomes , says the CEO of leading international development agency, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), on a visit to Uganda coinciding with World Teacher’s Day on October 5th.

Jim Emerson, CEO of VSO, the charity which aims to fight poverty through volunteers, first visited Uganda in 1979 and has been many times since. With over 35 years experience in development he comes back to Uganda this week to visit programs, meet partners and volunteers and learn more about the current challenges.

Education is one of VSO Uganda’s main programme activities and one area Jim is focussing on this week.  
The key aims of one project are to improve literacy and health education outcomes in Uganda and support Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) efforts to achieve improved reading ability of young children and improved knowledge and health-seeking behaviours among adolescents. It is implemented by RTI in collaboration with VSO, SIL LEAD, World Education and Centre for social research Uganda funded by USAID.

Another VSO project centres on evaluating and improving quality primary education in the Karamoja region (Moroto and Kotido) and seeks to increase learning outcomes of primary school children through strengthened teaching, school management structures and systems as well as community participation in partnership with Irish Aid.

Speaking from Kampala, Jim Emerson, CEO of VSO said; 
“It is essential we continue to invest in education and ensure teachers are equipped with the right resources to do their job. We at VSO know from our work on education in many countries that teachers do matter and can make a difference when they are given professional development opportunities and right support to their job well. But this requires that investment be prioritised in the development and implementation of national education sector plans.”

“VSO Uganda’s education programme is exciting and hopes to meet this challenge by improving the quality of teaching and learning through in-service training and improved methodology, improved leadership and accountability.  Similarly, by supporting the education departments and primary teacher colleges in budgeting, planning, human resources development and management we expect to see significant progress.” Jim added. 

Editor's notes

For further information or request an interview please contact: 
Edward Mugenyi Kakande , Country Director , VSO Uganda, Tel: +256 78 23 505 97 or Ciara O’Sullivan, Media Manager, VSO International on Tel: +44 20 8780 7368 +44 7753 10 34 60

About VSO

VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas – brings people together to fight poverty through the lasting power of volunteering. We work alongside communities worldwide to create positive change. Our programmes are in some of the world’s poorest countries, reaching millions of people through improved access to services in education, health, HIV/AIDS, disability, and governance. VSO’s vision is of a world without poverty, but we can only achieve this by working together.

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