The Open University

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA)

The Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme is researching, developing and delivering a bank of innovative open content materials to support school-based teacher education. TESSA brings together teachers and teacher educators from across Africa. It offers a range of materials (Open Educational Resources) in four languages to support school based teacher education and training.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to


Registered Charity in England and Wales (SC038302)




  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Across Sub-Saharan Africa, millions of children do not have access to school. The second UN Millennium goal aims for ‘children everywhere to be able to complete a course of primary education by 2015’. Meeting this goal requires trained teachers: teacher quality is increasingly recognised as a crucial factor in providing effective schooling. However there is a desperate shortage of teachers in many countries in the Region and UNESCO estimates that 3 million more primary school teachers will be needed by 2010. Severe economic and health problems are at the root of the crisis. HIV/AIDS has decimated the population, and many potential teachers are choosing better paid employment. Traditional campus-based teacher training programmes are unlikely to be able to meet demand and there is therefore a need to develop new scalable models of teacher education with existing institutions. TESSA has produced a large bank of materials directly aimed at enhancing and improving access to, and the quality of, local school based education and training for teachers. These materials (including audio and other media) are modular in format. They focus on classroom practice in the key areas of literacy, numeracy, science, social studies and the arts and life skills. All the materials are available through the TESSA website in a variety of different formats and languages.