The story of Power Teachers Africa
I believe in the power of Education, experiencing it in my own very large extended family, being the first member to go onto tertiary education, and the first generation to be able to benefit from the introduction of free secondary education in Ireland, which was introduced the year I was born. Education provided my brothers and sister with opportunities that my parents didn’t even dare to dream about. This led me to a lifelong passion for and commitment to education for development. After 36 years in Education, from the time I enrolled on my B.Ed degree, I believe in the transformational power of Education with the same passion today. I also believe, with every fibre of my being, and based on my extensive experience in education, that teachers are THE key, and wish to devote the rest of my life to supporting teachers to realise their power to improve learning and improve the lives of the children they teach.
I have worked in 13 countries in Africa, Asia, Pacific, and Europe as a teacher, teacher trainer, and project manager on many donor supported education projects, working with schools, colleges, UN, World Bank, and NGOs, with the aim of improving access to quality education for the most disadvantaged. In the last number of years, I begun to feel dismayed, as in spite of so much goodwill, financial support and numerous initiatives, working mostly with Ministries of Education, we find ourselves with a ‘learning crisis’. 6 out of 10 children globally, and nearly 9 out of 10 children Sub-Saharan Africa, in school are not learning. I have always been convinced that teachers are THE key to quality education and increasingly convinced, over the last decade especially, that ‘business-as’usual’ education initiatives are not working and that the focus needs to be on developing solutions that work it and actively advocating for government and donor support for what works to end the tragic education crisis. I believe that those supporting education, especially, governments and donors, must place the realities within teachers work, their motivation, in particular, and how they are treated, centre-stage. Teachers matter. Teacher motivation Matters. Teachers are the key.