IICBA Governing Board Chair’s Report to the 40th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO

On Saturday 16 November 2019, IICBA’s Governing Board Chair, Ms. Thokozile Ruzvidzo, made a presentation on IICBA’s work to the Education Commission at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, France. Please find below a copy of her remarks.

Distinguished delegates, it is a great honour and privilege for me to be here as Chair of the IICBA Governing Board. My name is Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Director of Social Development Policy Division of the UN Economic Commission for Africa. I have served on the IICBA Board as a board member since 2012 and as Chair since 2017. I have seen IICBA through various phases of its life. 

Over the last two years, IICBA has continued to support African Member States driven by Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on SDG4. As an Africa-based institution, established with a specific mandate of strengthening teacher development in Africa, IICBA has also strived to ensure alignment of its interventions with continental policy frameworks, namely the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-2025 of the African Union Commission. IICBA coordinates the Teacher Cluster of CESA together with Education International.

In the last two years, IICBA has made a significant contribution through the following activities:

1.       Teacher policy development: IICBA has continued to work on (1) evidence-based teacher development policy, (2) futures of teachers with Education International and Open Society, and (3) coordination and assistance to CESA implementation.

A number of countries have benefited from IICBA's technical assistance, including Uganda, Burundi, Niger, Mali, Zambia and Seychelles. Aligned with AUC CESA, IICBA has worked to design and validate the African Continental Teacher Mobility Protocol.

2.       Support to professionalization of the teaching profession and increasing teacher motivation: The Teacher Support and Motivation Framework for Africa: Emerging Patterns has been published. IICBA supported 29 countries and 26 teacher training institutes through training of trainers (ToT) workshops using the guide. In November 2019, IICBA co-organised a workshop, “Science Advice and Science Leadership Workshop for Early Career Scientists and Policy Makers”,  for various African states, with the Academy of Science and universities of member states.

3.       Peacebuilding and prevention of violent extremism through teacher development: Work in the Horn of Africa and Sahel countries has continued. 17 countries have been supported through trainings, workshops, consultations and materials. Recently, IICBA organised a Japan Study Tour and Prevention of Violent Extremism ToT Workshop targeting the Horn of Africa. IICBA, with UNDP, UN Women and IOM are currently implementing a peacebuilding fund project in Ethiopia to address the Ethiopian context.

4.       ICT integration in teacher development and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) promotion: IICBA has continued to work on the effective use of ICTs in teacher development in several countries and with the AU. IICBA has collaborated with HQ in STEM pedagogy, focusing on girls’ engagement in eastern and southern Africa. In consequence of a UNDP request, IICBA is working on climate change education in the Comoros. 

 5.       Gender responsive pedagogy (GRP): IICBA has worked on (1) GRP Toolkit for Africa with FAWE and UNICEF, (2) GRP application of the pedagogy in countries, and (3) GRP for early learning with VVOB (Belgium Agency).  Ethiopia has been supported in material development and a total of nine countries, namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, have benefited through a TOT.  For example, in Uganda, a gender-mainstreaming framework for teacher education has been developed and mainstreamed.

 6.       Research on teacher development in Africa and publication of research and guides: IICBA has worked on applied research in teacher development, including (1) learning assessment, (2) medium of instruction, and (3) teacher support in climate change and disaster risk reduction. In 2019, two reading materials were released: a report on play and resilience and a teachers’ guide on peace and resilience building and prevention of violent extremism. More guides on mother language and early grade reading instruction are expected to come. IICBA, in collaboration with UNDP Comoros, is developing a curriculum and a postgraduate programme on climate change in Comoros.

 7.       Partnership building and resource mobilization: IICBA’s partnerships further extended in 2018 and 2019 with bilateral and multilateral cooperation. IICBA has been working with the AU, RECs, UNDP, UNICEF, UNEP, all African states, Education International and EU, etc. IICBA and the MasterCard Foundation co-organized the CESA Teacher Cluster Meeting and Secondary Education in Africa in March 2019.

8.       The way forward: IICBA has started reflection within the framework of the UNESCO-wide strategic transformation and overall UN reform. IICBA aims at further increasing its relevance and usefulness to teachers’ issues in Africa in line with the AU’s Agenda 2063 and CESA.

The Governing Board is committed to maintain and strengthen its role, to provide policy and strategic direction to the Institute, so ensuring that IICBA’s activities are structured to align with and meet the SDG4 and CESA goals and objectives.

Thank you for your attention.