Pupils in a classroom in Africa

The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust brings teacher training to Africa

Beatrice Alinga (second from left) and teachers in Uganda using TESSA resources
Beatrice Alinga (second from left) and teachers in Uganda using TESSA resources

For teachers in one of the world’s most remote regions, where even pens are hard to find, the most basic training can seem completely out of reach. Which is why, for over a decade, The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust has helped bring distance learning to teachers in ten countries, through the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme.

The Trust says, “Teachers are the essential connection to delivering quality education to all children. We are delighted to help deliver exceptional learning resources through innovative means to teachers far and wide.”

Musoto Christian School in Uganda is one of the latest schools to be transformed by the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust’s support, after Beatrice Akejo Alinga, Deputy Head, received a set of TESSA booklets in 2016.

“The very themes that we have in our curriculum are the ones in the TESSA books, guiding us on how to do what in different stages.” Beatrice Akejo Alinga, Deputy Head

With over 50 pupils in every class, Beatrice was delighted to find advice on how to engage so many pupils. “TESSA books have unique methods on how large classes are handled… the teaching examples are so practical and child friendly, converting theories into practice.”

Thanks to the Trust’s support, the impact for pupils has been immediate. Esther, who teaches the youngest children, says, “After using TESSA to teach word sounds, the children started to read words by themselves. This is very unusual for the children in this community.”

The staff meet for two hours every Friday to share what they are learning from the booklets and all 17 teachers dream of a copy of the TESSA booklets of their own. Beatrice says, “From the time we received TESSA materials, and started teaching ourselves how to use them, there has been so much enthusiasm and excitement.”

Institutions like The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust do so much to ignite young minds and those who influence and teach them, opening up thousands of future possibilities in developing countries across the world. With their support, millions of people living in remote regions can have the power of learning at their fingertips.