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Cambridge Education programmes mentioned in IDC report on education

Posted on 23 November 2017

The report concluded that. although in the past DFID has prioritised its support for education in a way other donors have not, the amount of aid spent on education must increase considerably in order to help meet the ambitions of SDG4 - quality education.

The committee recognised that good quality teaching is essential to improving learning outcomes for children and highlighted the good practice examples of teacher training support provided through EQUIP-Tanzania. EQUIP-Tanzania is working with the Tanzania Institute of Education to improve the capacity and performance more than 20,000 teachers through the development of school-based training materials.

The committee was particularly impressed with impact of EQUIP-Tanzania's school readiness programme in helping children reach their full educational potential.

The report also addressed low-fee private schools, and the complexity of engaging with this sector compounded by the lack of evidence on children’s learning outcomes. The Committee recommends that where low-fee schools do exist and are a major player in the education landscape, DFID should support governments to establish good systems of regulation to ensure a better and more consistent quality of education. It highlighted the DEEPEN programme as an example of where this is already happening. DEEPEN is improving the learning outcomes of children attending low-fee private schools in Lagos, a city where there are nine times as many private schools as public ones.

Nick Santcross, international development director at Cambridge Education, welcomed the Committee’s findings - “We see the difference that our programmes make for children and their communities all around the world every day and are pleased that the IDC has praised the work of our colleagues in Nigeria and Tanzania. We support the Committee’s recommendation that UK aid increases its emphasis on ensuring no child is left behind.”

The report concludes a nine-month enquiry by the committee into DFID’s work on education and to what extent it is delivering in three core areas: access for the most marginalised, ensuring quality and good learning outcomes, and lifelong learning including technical and practical education.

Analysis of the impact of SBEP on student achievement

Posted on 30 October 2017

The UK aid-funded Southwest Basic Education Project (SBEP) operated during 2006 – 2010 in 27 of the poorest and most remote counties in Southwestern China. The project was designed to improve the Provincial and County governments’ own systems of education support and development and included:

  • stipends for poor students (especially girls and minorities)
  • introduction of School Development Planning (SDP)
  • teacher training on effective support, improved quality and greater relevance of schooling for disadvantaged children
  • involvement of those children in their own learning
  • head teacher training
  • equity training focusing on the most disadvantaged children.

Kang Lanlan - the orphan girl who became a teacher

Posted on 30 October 2017

When GBEP began, Kang Lanlan was a thirteen year-old orphan from rural Gansu who could not afford to go to school. She received a scholarship that was guaranteed to her for the duration of her schooling.

It was a bright, sunny afternoon when we returned to meet Kang Lanlan in Suhe Primary School in Kangle, one of the four counties the project supported. It was an emotional meeting for us all – the young teenager had transformed into a woman, with two children of her own and a career as a teacher.

In 2011, she began her studies with Lanzhou University, graduating in 2014 with a bachelor degree in Chinese language. Her students’ performance in her English class is the best in her school district and she has twice received a county Excellent Teacher Award. She attributes her success to the chance GBEP gave her 17 years ago to continue with her schooling – “without that, I would have had no opportunity”.

One of the most touching things about meeting Kang Lanlan again was seeing what a role model she has become to others. When we asked her to teach a demonstration class for us, she threw herself into the task with enthusiasm – engaging confidently with the children, doing activities with them, pushing and testing their learning as she went along. These were all the approaches GBEP had introduced during the project period: to make children the centre of the learning experience. Here was a girl who had benefited in the classroom from such approaches now becoming the type of teacher she had admired.