How to Teach Maths? Improved Training for 8,000 Future Primary School Teachers

Yesterday, a five-day Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop ended in Herat City, Herat province. 14 lecturers, four of them women, from seven Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) participated. Four master trainers from the Teacher Education Directorate (TED) introduced the new primary education diploma that is currently under development to the lecturers. The activity focussed particularly on the subject of mathematics. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Basic and Secondary Education Programme (BEPA) supported the event.

The TED, together with BEPA, developed a primary education diploma that shall be incorporated in the Afghan teacher training curriculum. The primary education diploma is the first specialised programme for early grade teachers. Enrolled student teachers acquire the required skills and capacities to teach children from first to sixth grade. This shall ensure age-appropriate teaching at primary schools.

Rafat Kakar, lecturer from Herat TTC, said ‘Primary Education Diploma is a crucial need for teacher training in Afghanistan. Currently there are so many teachers in the primary schools who have not received specialised training on teaching early grades children. In this workshop TTC lecturers learned new methods on how to teach math effectively to young children. Concepts such as managing diversity, cognitive activation, structured representation, discovery learning and their importance in teaching mathematics were introduced.’

The TED masters introduced the TTC lecturers to the subject of mathematics and efficient methodology to teach maths to primary pupils (grade one to six). Participants learned about key concepts of early mathematics, how to relate mathematics to children’s daily life and ways of encouraging children’s mathematic thinking.

Jan Mohammad Qasimi lecturer from Samangan TTC added that, ‘developed lessons are based on Learner-centred approach and activities are inclusive and engaging for children.’ 

Throughout the workshop, attendees applied their new knowledge by giving each other maths lessons. The master trainers provided feedback on how to best apply the methodology at TTCs. About 8,000 primary school teacher students, 6,000 of them women, will benefit from improved training.     

The Basic and Secondary Education Programme (BEPA) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BEPA aims at improving the quality of basic education in Afghanistan by assisting the Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE) with teacher training and curriculum development.  Since 2008, BEPA provided training for more than 23,000 teachers and lecturers. Further, 22 teacher-training centres have introduced mandatory internships for ongoing teachers. As a result, about 15,800 university students and 88,300 school students in Northern Afghanistan are currently benefiting from improved education. They now have access to specialised, age-appropriate and student-centred schooling.