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Comic Relief / VSO visit of Ghana headteachers to Cambridge
A group of headteachers and circuit supervisors from northern Ghana spent a day in Cambridge during their recent VSO-coordinated visit to the UK. Funded by Comic Relief, VSO is working in partnership with the Ghana Education Service and other organisations to implement a five year education programme in northern Ghana called TENI (Tackling Education Needs Inclusively). The work seeks to achieve system change by improving transitions, completion and quality of basic education for disadvantaged children, particularly girls, in northern Ghana. The purpose of the group's study tour to the UK was to increase knowledge of practical strategies to strengthen the management capabilities of head teachers to better support their teachers and manage their schools effectively, improving the education provided to children in these regions.
Cambridge colleagues had the opportunity to talk about the work they are doing in Ghana and East Africa in the areas of leadership, pedagogy, gender and HIV Aids and the headteachers and circuit supervisors shared their experiences of working in education in northern Ghana and in being involved in the TENI project. Of particular interest to the Ghanaians was the work that Sue Swaffield and John MacBeath are doing in Ghana on Leadership for Learning in collaboration with the University of Cape Coast and the Ghana Education Service as there are many connections and synergies with the TENI project.
Singapore study visit
On Monday 17th May the Faculty were delighted to welcome back Dr. Pak Tee Ng of the NationalInstitute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, and a recent visiting scholar at the Commonwealth Centre for Education, who was accompanying a group of 8 school leaders from Singapore on a two week study visit to the UK. During their time at the Faculty, the group were interested to understand how we train teachers through our PGCE and Masters programmes. Over the course of the day they were able to meet with Dave Pedder, Freya Villis and Jane Warwick. They also enjoyed a presentation by Julia Flutter of the Cambridge Primary Review, and continued discussions over lunch with Professor Maurice Galton, rounding off the day by meeting with Peter Gronn. The visitors were also keen to gain a student perspective of our programmes and were very pleased that four of our current Masters students from Singapore were able to join them for informal discussions over morning coffee and afternoon tea.
The Centre was delighted to welcome Dominique Chadwick, a freelance documentary maker, to the Faculty to introduce Camfed International's film Where the Water Meets the Sky. The film documents the story of 23 women from rural Zambia who are trained by Dominique and Abibata Mahama in film-making. The group of women produced an inspirational film about the plight of young women orphaned by AIDS, a subject not generally discussed within the community. Following the film showing, Dominique answered questions about the project. Several PhD students currently working in Africa on HIV related topics produced posters.
VSO Nigeria study visit
Between 26th - 29th January the Faculty and the Commonwealth Centre for Education hosted a 4 day study visit for VSO Nigeria. The delegation included 4 provosts of Teacher Education Colleges and 3 Regional Ministers of Education plus 3 VSO representatives. The focus of the visit was the Faculty's PGCE courses and through a mix of seminars and informal discussions the group learned about procedures for admissions, record-keeping, lectures, placements, assessment and IT. The group were particularly impressed by their visits to three local schools where they were able to observe teaching and to meet with trainee teachers and their mentors.