New U.S. Partnership Set to Transform Teacher Education in Zambia

LUSAKA — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officially announced its Transforming Teacher Education project today in a hybrid in-person and online virtual event at the University of Zambia (UNZA).  The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University (FSU) will implement the five-year, $15 million project (K300 million), in partnership with School-to-School International and the UNZA School of Education.  The project will include 12 Zambian universities and colleges of education around the country to improve the training of primary grade teachers in early grade literacy.

“By enriching pre-service teacher education, these investments will help ingrain effective primary literacy instruction practices in Zambia’s education system to benefit future generations of teachers and students,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. David Young. “We are pleased that this partnership will support lecturers at all government Colleges of Education and universities that offer the primary teacher’s diploma.  We are also excited to announce our partner for this project, Florida State University, a highly esteemed U.S. higher educational institution.”

Previously funded USAID and international early grade literacy projects have primarily focused on training in-service teachers, without a direct focus on pre-service training.  Transforming Teacher Education aims to fill this gap. Over the five-year period, the USAID Transforming Teacher Education project will empower more than 60 Zambian teacher educators with the skills to deliver effective instruction to 9,000 college and university students pursuing careers as primary grade teachers.

“Equipping the Colleges of Education and universities with the skills and experience to deliver effective instruction will have a positive, double impact,” noted Dr. Jobbicks Kalumba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of General Education. “Lecturers will deliver instruction to students by using correct methods, and pre-service teachers will graduate with knowledge and skills for teaching children in our primary schools.”

Transforming Teacher Education will provide foundational literacy and curriculum-specific training for pre-service teacher education lecturers and provide curriculum enhancement support. Selected lecturers will participate in residency fellowships, study tours, and master’s degrees at FSU.  Lecturers will engage in collaborative research on literacy education in Zambia and present and publish their work.

Participating colleges and universities will receive resource texts, teaching materials, and curricula to support their primary teacher diploma programs.  Four institutions will be designated as Centers of Excellence for pre-service teacher education.  The launch included a presentation of preliminary findings from the project’s situational analysis of partner Colleges of Education and universities, which took place in February and March 2021.

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For more information about this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Zambia Press Office at ZambiaPress@state.gov.