TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa)

Launched in 2005, TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa) is transforming the education of primary and secondary school teachers across sub-Saharan Africa. TESSA is an active network of teachers and teacher educators in 18 universities and institutions across 10 sub-Saharan African countries. TESSA’s Open Educational Resources (OER) have reached over one million African educators to date.

TESSA’s bank of OER is designed to enhance the quality and demand of local, school-based teacher education. Produced in partnership with African education experts, the modular resources are free to use and adapt, and are contextualised for 10 countries and into four languages (English, French, Kiswahili, and Arabic). The Open University (OU) provides access to these, accessible freely across a range of digital and print formats, which can be used and adapted for a wide range of teacher development and teaching needs.

TESSA Teacher Educators are supported by a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), “Making teacher education relevant for 21st Century Africa,” hosted on the OU’s FutureLearn platform. This promotes active, learner-centred pedagogy and teaching approaches, and the use of OER and ICT for learning. The first two iterations (2017 & 2018) attracted 3446 learners across 33 African countries (108 countries in total). The MOOC was recognised with a prestigious PIEoneer 2018 award for “Digital innovation of the year.”

TESSA resources are aligned with national curricula and can be integrated into pre-service and in-service teacher training programmes. TESSA OER are integrated into programmes at the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, and into programmes for pre-service teachers in the Open University of Sudan, the Open University of Tanzania and The University of South Africa. Five colleges of education in Ghana have a system of “TESSA Clubs” in which pre-service teachers meet each week to explore the TESSA OER and plan lessons.