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In our 2018 annual report, we zoom in on our approach to developing the capacity of teachers and school leaders. These two sets of actors are catalysts in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 and have an especially important influence on vulnerable learners. Four feature stories from our partner countries illustrate our capacity development approach and its impact on educators and learners alike.

Quality teachers

Teachers are crucial to achieving learning outcomes and learner wellbeing, especially in the context of providing equal opportunities to all learners. Studies indeed show that several years of highly effective teaching can offset the learning deficits of vulnerable learners. VVOB focuses on the initial training, induction and continuous professional development of teachers using an evidence-based framework that describes seven components of quality teaching.

 

In the annual report, you can find a thorough article – ‘Quality teachers and effective school leaders: agents of inclusive and equitable education’ – that delves deeper into the different aspects of our model for quality teachers. But more importantly, some well-placed professionals in Vietnam and Ecuador explain first-hand how they changed their practices after working with VVOB on improving teacher quality:

I have adjusted my activities to address the interests of the children. My relationship with them is much closer, they are not shy anymore and more confident
Ms Phuong, preschool teacher, Vietnam
We want to generate teacher autonomy and stimulate a process in which teachers reflect and are capable of generating their own mechanisms for professional growth
Ms Rodríguez, pedagogical advisor, Ecuador

Effective school leaders

While teachers have the most visible and direct impact on learning outcomes and learner wellbeing, they are dependent on school leaders that create conducive environments for quality teaching and deep learning to take place. A second core mission for VVOB is thus effective school leadership, as no school sustainably improves the quality of education in the absence of it.

 

In the above-mentioned thorough article in the annual report, we also explore our approach to developing school leadership. Further on, professionals from South Africa and Rwanda contemplate how VVOB’s professional development trajectories have changed their practices for the better:

Most solutions to certain issues now come from the group of school leaders themselves, not from me. They trust their professional judgement more
Mr Moletsane, government contact point for school leaders, South Africa
I used to be apprehensive about meetings with parents, but they are actually a great platform for sharing ideas, discussing issues and identifying solutions together
Mr Harerimana, primary school leader, Rwanda

More in our 2018 annual report…

While quality teachers and effective school leaders hold our attention in this annual report, other worthy highlights are also mentioned. First of all, our Belgium-based programmes fulfilled their purposes once again in facilitating exchange between education and development experts, and in fostering global citizenship in Belgian educators and learners. Lisa De Greef, a Belgian student enrolled in a school that partners with a school in India, said:

 

"Very often we’re focused on our own culture, and we forget to show interest in others. Some of us even make quick judgments about people they don’t even know, for example based on how they’re dressed. I think every school should have a partner school in a different country, so they can really get to know them and put a stop to prejudices."

 

Furthermore, our network is ever growing, with new donors such as Mastercard Foundation and an election to the Steering Committee of the Teacher Task Force of UNESCO. The African Union recognised us as a ‘top education innovator’ in Africa and we presented at numerous international conferences.

 

In short, too many highlights to sum up, so please enjoy reading our 2018 annual report. And if you wish to receive a hard copy, do not hesitate to contact us.