USAID Building Education Support Systems for Teachers Summer Highlights

September 30, 2009


From mid-July to late-August 2009, USAID’s BESST project team collaborated with 25 Afghan Ministry of Education academic subject specialists to create four sets of teacher training materials, with each set focusing on simple but effective teaching strategies and activities.

Notably, Ministry and BESST staff developed materials to help Afghan teachers understand and practice methodologies specific to teaching classes in Grades 4-6 and 7-9 Math and Science.  The team, including BESST consultants from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), also designed Humanities, Math and Science training materials for Grades 10-12. The sets of training materials have been integrated into each subject’s actual curriculum. The team plans the first tier of training of trainers in these materials (methodologies for teaching Grades 4-6) for late September 2009.

“This process of production, informed primarily by the expertise and experience of Ministry of Education staff, will eventually build the capacity of more than a hundred thousand Afghan teachers to help one another in raising standards for teaching and learning,” said AFT consultant, Dr. Nick Norman, as the production sessions came to a close.

The USAID-funded BESST project is implemented by the Creative Associates International, Inc.-led consortium and works directly with the Afghan Ministry of Education to improve teaching quality in primary and secondary schools. The project focuses on supporting Afghanistan’s national in-service teacher training (INSET) strategy in 11 of the country’s 34 provinces. BESST is also working with the MOE in building a credentialing system based on teacher competencies, including development of a national test that will be administered in the coming months. The credentialing system will become part of the civil service pay and grade system, thereby clarifying career paths for teachers. In addition, BESST includes an intensive program of capacity-building for key central ministry departments and for administrative and teacher education staff at the provincial and district levels.

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