Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) is a network of teachers and teacher educators stretching across Sub-Saharan Africa. At the heart of the network is a bank of open educational resources (OER), linked to the school curriculum, and designed to support teachers and teacher educators in developing active approaches to learning. The network is co-ordinated by The Open University, UK.
The goal of TESSA is to ensure that teachers and teacher educators use OER in teaching and learning which are more interactive; make learners enjoy school more; promote more learning; and pre-service teachers experience teaching approaches they are supposed to use in their future career. These Open Educational Resources (OERs), were produced in partnership with local African educational experts. They are free to everyone to adopt and contextualize to their local settings, under a creative commons license.
The TESSA materials have been adapted to ten country contexts and are available in four different languages on the TESSA website: Arabic, English, French and Kiswahili. In addition, these materials are also available in generic versions in English and French, hence applicable in sub-Saharan Africa.
TESSA materials contain a series of activities that teachers can carry out in their classrooms and are designed to be used flexibly according to local needs. Handbooks for teachers and teacher educators on how make effective use of the resources in their classrooms and in their courses have also been provided.
Teacher or teacher educator can use TESSA materials. They are often integrated into pre-service teacher training programmes. The Open University has been working with partners to facilitate the use of TESSA resources in contextually appropriate ways.
Maasai Mara University started partinering with the Open University of UK from August 2018. Since this partnership started, three major events have taken place where the University has actively participated as follows:
MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an open access online course. This mean many people from all over world enroll and anybody can participate since it is online and open. The MOOC was entitled ‘Making Teacher Education Relevant for 21st Century Africa’ and was presentation, in November 2017 on Futurelearn. The MOOC was a truly global learning event with participants from over 100 countries (32 across Africa) and over 800 successfully completing the course. A few lecturers of MMARAU, primary school teachers from Loita and a good number of Third year students were among the 800 that successfully completed them MOOC and were awarded Certificate of Completion.
The MOOC explored active teaching and learning, potential of ICT to support active learning and teaching and introduced OER in general and TESSA resources in particular as a way supporting teachers in developing new approaches different from those that they experienced when at school or during their initial training.
TESSA SMALL GRANT
Maasai Mara University through Dr. Sammy Mutisya successfully applied for TESSA Small Grant. The total grant value was Kshs.300,000 and was meant for the following activities:
- Carry out a TESSA resources mediation workshop for primary school Head Teachers, College Tutors, MoE Officials and local teachers (champions).
- Visit selected primary schools to monitor utilization of TESSA resources by teachers.
The TESSA resources mediation workshop took place on 30thMarch 2018 and was attended by 38 primary school teachers from Loita, 2 officers from Ministry of Education and 7 Tutors from Narok Teacher Training College. The workshop was facilitator by project Coordinator (Dr. Sammy Mutisya) assisted by two staff from ICT.
The second phase of the project involved a field visit by the coordinator to selected primary schools in Loita Division to monitor utilization of TESSA resources by teachers which is on going.
TESSA OER MEDIATION WORKSHOPS AND DISTRIBUTION OF FLUSH DISCS
The project has further trained 30 primary school teachers from Maasai Mara University Model Primary School and Legacy Primary Schools on TESSA OER and distributed 100 memory sticks (FLUSH DISCS) with TESSA OER materials.