Our Focus on Sierra Leone
EdTech Hub develops and delivers evidence in EdTech. We work in partnership with researchers and stakeholders to find solutions to education challenges. Our topic areas include: Data for Decisions, Digital Personalised Learning (DPL), Girls’ Education & Technology, Participation & Messaging and Teacher Continuous Professional Development (TCPD).
In Sierra Leone, we focus on Data for Decisions, Participation & Messaging and Teacher Continuous Professional Development (TCPD).
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EdTech Hub activities in Sierra Leone
In the past two decades, Sierra Leone has significantly widened access to education despite experiencing multiple crises in this period – civil war, Ebola, and now Covid-19.
The rapid growth in enrolment across the country has been matched by a political and financial commitment from the government to strengthen the education sector.
Even though challenges remain, the government continues to find new ways to deliver inclusive, quality education for all learners.
In this journey, EdTech Hub has partnered with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education to advance this vision.
Data for Decisions
What is Data for Decisions? Technology to advance data use and decision-making.
The challenge facing the education sector: Education systems often lack data, or struggle to apply what it tells them, when making choices about how to allocate resources or developing policy. This contributes to inefficiencies which tend to affect the most marginalised students and their learning disproportionately.
And so we ask: How can technology be used to improve data collection, analysis and planning to improve learning outcomes?
- EdTech Hub partnered with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Teaching Service Commission to apply a problem-first and user-centred approach to design the One Tablet Per School Programme. We continued this collaboration to user test the programme in 80 schools in Freetown and Port Loko, presenting our findings at the CIES conference.
- EdTech Hub commissioned research to reconstruct data from the Annual School Census to explore longitudinal school-level trends and examine Sierra Leone’s data architecture (inc. development of data viz toolkit and presentation at Global Ed Summit).
- EdTech Hub provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education to map (a) all major education data sources in Sierra Leone and (b) who needs what data for decision-making to inform recommendations for system consolidation. This TA is building evidence to shape the design of the new GPE system strengthening grant.
- EdTech Hub has partnered with the Teaching Service Commission, Fab Inc, and the Education Workforce Initiative to apply our sandbox methodology to test different approaches to GIS-informed teacher allocation.
Participation & Messaging
What is Participation & Messaging? Technology to promote participation in school.
The challenge facing the education sector: A significant number of children are out of school worldwide and this situation has been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19. Many of the most marginalized who were previously enrolled in schools are at risk of never returning.
And so we ask: How can nudge technologies and messaging apps be used to re-engage students, reduce the number of out-of-school children, and improve learning outcomes?
- At the start of the pandemic, we partnered with Rising Academies to support the expansion of the Rising on Air initiative: a 20-week programme of radio scripts and SMS content made freely available to organisations around the world. Here, we aimed to increase participation in learning during Covid-related school closures through the expansion of the web portal for access to all content in English, French, and Arabic; the formation of a community of practice to connect organisations with an interest in radio education, and the development of a ‘how-to guide’ on implementing and evaluating radio programmes.
Teacher Continuous Professional Development (TCPD)
What is Teacher Continuous Professional Development? Ongoing, in-service teacher professional development, structured pedagogy, and technology.
The challenge facing the education sector: Teacher quality is the most important determinant of learning outcomes at school level. Teachers are often either unqualified or unsupported by good quality professional development.
And so we ask: How can technology be used to enhance teacher effectiveness through in-service TCPD and structured pedagogy?
- EdTech Hub commissioned the study on Dialling up Learning: Testing the Impact of Delivering Educational Content via Interactive Voice Response to Students and Teachers in Ghana. The study explored the impact of interactive audio content on student learning and teacher knowledge with Rising Academies.
- EdTech Hub has partnered with the Teaching Service Commission and the World Bank to develop a technology-supported, school and cluster-based teacher professional development programme. The initiative will apply the Hub’s sandbox methodology to test and adapt the model, which aims to improve foundational learning outcomes. As part of this work, EdTech Hub has hired the Education Development Trust to act as an implementing partner for the Sandbox.
Other EdTech Topics
- EdTech Hub conducted a review of the state of EdTech research in Sierra Leone, identifying key findings and gaps to be addressed.
- EdTech Hub delivered technical assistance to support the publication of Sierra Leone’s first vision for EdTech (published on EdTech Hub and GPE).
- EdTech Hub supported The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) to launch its inaugural policy e-book and had a conversation about how researchers can effectively partner with the MBSSE to strengthen evidence-based education policy in Sierra Leone.
- EdTech Hub has partnered with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in Sierra Leone to increase the use of evidence in decisions around EdTech. Read the blog on EdTech in Sierra Leone: reimagining education for continuous learning and teaching – EdTech Hub.
- EdTech Hub co-authored a series of blog posts with local researchers to showcase the latest evidence on EdTech in Sierra Leone. The posts covered:
Discover our Helpdesk
EdTech Hub supports education decision-makers to incorporate the latest globally informed, locally relevant knowledge and evidence into choices related to EdTech.
FCDO Education Advisers, World Bank staff and UNICEF staff who work closely with ministries of education in low- and middle-income countries can request and receive short-term, discrete support from the EdTech Hub Helpdesk.
We work with requesters to support the “what” and “how” of EdTech-enabled approaches. We seek approaches that are evidence-based, contextually appropriate, realistic to implement, and cost-effective.
If you can’t submit a Helpdesk request, you can still get answers. We’ve summarised the findings from previous Helpdesk requests for you to explore.