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Warwick in Africa education programme comes to Kenya thanks to COSARAF foundation

  • University of Warwick to bring its tried and tested educational project, Warwick in Africa, to Kenya thanks to the COSARAF Foundation

  • Warwick in Africa combines student volunteering and peer-led teacher training

  • Since 2006 Warwick in Africa has worked with 600,000 learners and 5,000 teachers in sub-Saharan Africa, helping to raise standards in Maths and English

  • The new expansion will benefit almost 70,000 learners and 260 teachers in Kenya

  • The COSARAF grant will support the programme for four years

Teachers at a workshopThe University of Warwick will be able to bring its successful education programme, Warwick in Africa, to Kenya for the first time thanks to the support of the COSARAF Foundation.

The COSARAF grant will fund training for 260 Kenyan teachers over four years, supporting them to develop their classroom skills and learn the latest professional tools and techniques. The grant will also support 24 Warwick students volunteering in Kenyan classrooms over the same period delivering high quality maths and English lessons.

Warwick in Africa has been running since 2006 as a partnership between the University of Warwick and teachers in township and rural schools in sub-Saharan Africa. The programme has already trained 5,000 African teachers and reached 600,000 learners in South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania and has been shown to significantly improve exam results in maths and English.

More than half the teachers attending a workshop in 2018 said it was the only professional training they had received that year, showing the value of Warwick in Africa’s work. With more than half of Kenya’s teachers aged over 50, training a new generation of teachers is a key challenge.

Commenting on the impact of Warwick in Africa’s teacher training workshops, Julian Severian, a teacher in Morogoro, Tanzania said: “These Teacher Workshops were the first training I have received since graduating 6 years ago. I travelled over 70 miles to take part and it’s been fantastic. I’ve gained so many new skills and learned how to make teaching fun. I regularly teach classes of 70 learners in overcrowded classrooms so the techniques on group work will be so useful.”

In addition to training African teachers, Warwick in Africa offers current undergraduates or postgraduates the opportunity to teach in one of the project’s partner schools for up to seven weeks. Volunteers must demonstrate an ability to teach Maths and English to A-level standard as part of the selection process and are trained to use the latest teaching methods and approaches to help raise attainment and change attitudes to learning, and work alongside local teachers to help make lasting change.

Joel Stout, a Warwick student who volunteered in Limpopo, South Africa, said: “Warwick in Africa really works. I know from my experience that it provides a platform for both volunteers and the African teachers and learners to grow. Investing in Warwick in Africa is undoubtedly worth it.”

Professor Colin Sparrow, Programme Director, from Warwick in Africa said “This generous support means we can expand the full Warwick in Africa programme to Kenya which is hugely exciting. We are looking forward to developing strong partnerships with schools and other partners within Kenya and together having a lasting impact on the maths and English knowledge of teachers and their learners.”

Akbar Sheikh from COSARAF said:

“COSARAF is delighted to support the expansion of this tried-and-tested programme. Teachers and learners in sub-Saharan Africa face very real challenges, with class sizes regularly topping 40 pupils, and with limited opportunities for teachers to develop their skills through professional training. If children do not leave school with good Maths and English they face lifelong challenges in gaining and keeping work. We know that where Warwick in Africa works with local schools exam scores in Maths and English rise across the board. By supporting Warwick in Africa we will help young people in Kenya to realise their potential.”

The University will look to its alumni network to secure the long-term future of the project in Kenya.

ENDS

The COSARAF Foundation have provided £133,000 to support the expansion of Warwick in Africa into Kenya.

More information on the impact of Warwick in Africa: https://warwick.ac.uk/giving/projects/wia/warwick_in_africa_-_2018_annual_report.pdf

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Sheila Kiggins

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