Recent IRFOL research on the use of distance education for teacher education reveals a lack of detailed information and guidance for policy makers on three aspects of distance education for teachers: models of decentralised management; student support and assessment of classroom practice; and technology choice.
The present study narrows the focus to these three aspects of teacher training in sub-Saharan Africa and investigates the variety of new training programmes aiming to meet the growing demand for teachers due to Universal Primary Education announcements, expanding enrolments and AIDS attrition. Trends are examined in light of the literature on political economy, decentralisation, the Education For All (EFA) campaign and donor activities. The study finds evidence of an emerging new model of teacher education in the region, referred to here as the field-based model, of which distance education is merely one varying component. The field-based model sees the convergence of previously disparate strands of teacher education – namely, ministries, colleges, donor-funded projects, decentralised ministry functions, teacher resource centres and schools.