Teachwell: Inclusive Teacher Professional Development System Support in Kenya

Project Period

April 2024 - November 2029

In the past 30 years, Kenya has made substantial strides in education access and quality, including launching a competency-based curriculum in 2017. The Basic Education Competency Framework developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, outlines a vision for curriculum reform, including values, theoretical approaches, guiding pillars, and core competencies towards achieving holistic, child-centered education. Yet, this has had limited extension to children living in refugee communities. Indeed, UNHCR estimates that less than half of the 250,000 school-aged children are enrolled in school. Moreover, enrollment reduces substantially as children progress from primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This has been attributed to barriers such as lack of schools and teachers, poverty, cultural norms, and school safety. This is compounded by limited learning aids, high teacher turnover culminating from low remuneration, heavy workload, and magnitude of learner linguistic and psychosocial needs as well as the worsening climate crisis. Further, there are limited teacher professional development (TPD) opportunities for the needs of teachers in these settings. Therefore, as funded by the LEGO Foundation and Grundfos Foundation, this project aims to strengthen quality and equitable inclusive teacher TPD, while also supporting school environments in refugee camps and refugee hosting communities in Kenya. The project will be implemented in Garissa and Turkana, which host Kenya’s largest refugee populations.

Objectives of the Project

  1. i) Support quality comprehensive continuous TPD on play-based innovative and gender inclusive pedagogies, mental and psychosocial support (MHPSS) / social and emotional learning (SEL) within existing governmental structures.
  2. ii) Influence teacher training and management policies towards robust support for teachers including recruitment, compensation and career progression for male and female teachers. 

iii) Empower key stakeholders surrounding teachers towards supporting teachers’ abilities to optimize innovative teaching, MPHSS/SEL, gender equitable and inclusive learning environments. 

  1. iv) Strengthen and expand collaborative partnerships with community-based, county, sub-county, national, regional and global agencies towards enhancing refugee education in Kenya. 

  2. v) Establish safe and supportive school environments for teachers and children to thrive even amidst shocks and stressors such as climate change, epidemics and conflict.
  3. vi) Design and deliver on a robust learning agenda in order to improve learning, wellbeing and social cohesion as well as ensure adaptive learning in refugee and host community classrooms. 

Project Scope  

TPD design and implementation – Research Triangle Institute International (RTI) 

TPD implementation (localizing activities) – Lutheran World Federation (LWF)

The Implementation of MHPSS, WASH (water sanitation and hygiene), health and the crisis modifier – International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Community engagement and mobilization – Film-Aid Kenya (FAK)

Research and learning agenda—African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) 

The consortium will contribute to policy advocacy (Grant 1) and implementation of quality comprehensive TPD including safe and supportive learning environments (Grant 2). 

Expected Outcomes

Strengthened resilience and skills of teachers to deliver quality, play-based, safe, gender equitable and inclusive education;

Enabling refugee education policy and management at county and national levels;

Safe and supportive school environments—including access to MHPSS, SEL, WASH, MHM;

Increased resilience using a crisis modifier to address shocks like climate, epidemics, SGVB.