CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHERS: A SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS

Teachers are the key to the attainment of any development objective, whether national or global. They build the knowledge, skills and attitude that societies need for its development. Teachers can help achieve the various sustainable development goals (SDGs), national development goals (NDGs), and individual development goals (IDGs) at both low and high levels within society, country, and the globe at large.

However, the expansion of the education sector, especially in terms of enrolment and the need to meet current societal demands in terms of globalisation has made the teaching profession more demanding and challenging. Managing the ever-increasing students’ population which shows no sign of slowing down, understanding different learning challenges amongst students, understanding and applying changing technology, effective communication with students and parents, students’ discipline, time management, teacher remunerations, and pressure from school administration amongst others are some of the major challenges that teachers faced in their profession which is affecting school performance.

In today’s globalised world, with its complex wicked problems, the role of teachers in promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) cannot be overemphasized. ESD incorporates key environmental challenges like climate change into core subjects like mathematics, science, and art, and involves modifying the curriculum and teaching-learning process to a more all-encompassing approach. This requires that teachers constantly acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to develop themselves professionally to be able to shape a sustainable future. Yet, most often, managers and administrators of education ignore such demands and challenges by emphasising on what is expected of teachers paying little attention to what they need to be able to perform effectively and efficiently. Thus, many education players such as education ministries, governments, parents, and students must all play vital roles in ensuring that the profession of teaching is accorded a high level of importance.

If society must have the knowledge skills and attitude that they need, then schools must have teachers with the required knowledge and skills for training. The extent to which schools attain their goals and objectives depends on the quality of training that teachers are exposed to. The need for continuous professional development of teachers therefore becomes imperative for managers and administrators. Continuous professional development of teachers enhances continuous increase in teachers’ competence and quality and enable teachers to easily adapt to change. Teachers are able to know new ways of doing things and identify new ways of solving problems. This fosters intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy of teachers.

As a torchbearer of the society, the teacher sows the seed of sustainable development in students for its roots to deeply penetrate in the society by nurturing environmental stewardship and encouraging responsible behaviour towards the planet.


With changing technology, teachers must blend in so that students are not only taught what they need to know, but also prepared with new technological skills, so that the new era/generation does not leave teachers behind.

As a torchbearer of the society, the teacher sows the seed of sustainable development in students for its roots to deeply penetrate in the society by nurturing environmental stewardship and encouraging responsible behaviour towards the planet. “With continuous professional development of teachers, society will have the required knowledge, skills and attitude for its sustainability”. As we celebrate teachers today 5 October 2023, let us focus on building teachers to build the society.

Submitted by the Education Cluster | FAR-LeaF Program:Sophie Etomes, Hellen Namawejji, Ebenezer Amankwa and Samson Mhizha

 

The Future Africa Research Leader Fellowship (FAR-LeaF) is a fellowship programme, focussed on developing transdisciplinary research and leadership skills, to address the complex, inter-linked challenges of health, well-being, and environmental risks in Africa.