2017 A.S. Hornby Scholars

Interview description

Bethlehem Tsehayu, Oumar Moussa Djigo, Sagun Shrestha, Hornby scholars from Warwick University, share their research in continuing professional development and ICT and the work their teaching associations and networks do.

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NELTA, as Sagun notes (min. 3:36) has 44 local branches across the 75 districts (many remote) in Nepal, an extraordinary local grassroots architecture. Many national teacher associations in Europe and elsewhere have few or no such local branches, based on a city and its nearby region. NELTA a genuine paradigm of local networking. A related question is how to strengthen national TA membership (IATEFL has 120 Associates). We need to know in a given country the total no. of EFL/EAL teachers, in state and private schools, universities, as well as freelancers (data often not available, it should be!), and compare that with the total membership of a TA. What is the figure of NELTA membership vs. estimated total teacher numbers in Nepal for example, or Ethiopia or Senegal?  In numerous countries, the TA membership is but a minute fraction of that total body of teachers. How can this be changed? Perhaps EdMin policy should strongly encourage, even mandate membership in a national TA as part of CPD, and help support that financially. And how can local TEFL teacher clubs be generated and creatively configured, perhaps bottom-up, within (as local mini-branches of an existing TA) or beyond the architecture of the formal national TA? Including efforts to deal, as Betelhem notes, with questions like teacher demotivation, teacher status, salaries, workloads, precarity, the need for teacher unionization? Such infrastructure to generate new modes of basal grassroots connectivity encompasssing hands-on CPD is clearly badly needed, as Gabriel underscored in his opening plenary and interview. 

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