About the Author(s)

Kakoma Luneta Email symbol
Department of Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Luneta, K., 2022, ‘The critical role of continuous professional development for teachers in Africa’, African Journal of Teacher Education and Development 1(1), a2. https://doi.org/10.4102/ajoted.v1i1.2


The critical role of continuous professional development for teachers in Africa

Kakoma Luneta

Copyright: © 2022. The Author Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Teacher education in Africa has undergone some transformation but the actual act of teaching has stagnated to the old apprenticeship model for both instruction and learning (Wolhuter 2006). In research that has permeated teacher training, teaching and teacher development in Africa, there has not been radical reviews to transform instruction and development. The decolonisation of the curriculum in Africa has been but fallacy and talk for African scholars that purport without pure social or natural scientific scrutiny of the critical role a curriculum, indigenous or western, plays in shaping knowledge and intellectual dialogue. Reform of teacher education and interventions in both the epistemological and methodological perspectives require grounded and research-based acknowledgements from teachers and those in the teaching fraternity teacher (Mukuka, Shumba & Mulenga 2021; Tesfamicael & Ayalew 2021).

Embedded in teacher reform, pedagogical and content redress in Africa is context-based, as imported professional development intervention programs will not yield the desired goals (Bakker, Cai and Zenger 2021). According to Workman (2021), context:

… relates to everything to do with the school, both implicitly and explicitly – the values of the community and the guiding principles that underpin such values, the culture of learning and the customs and traditions embedded in the school ethos. (p. 1)

The African teacher education context, educational challenges and aspirations are similar, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank 2020; Bethel 2016).

The World Bank (2020) has identified professional development programs for teachers in Africa as the most promising and appropriate interventions to address teachers’ education challenges in Africa. Evans and Acosta (2021), and Khechane, Makara and Rambuda (2020) document the challenges that require effective intervention programs as: under qualified and unqualified teachers, especially in poor rural disadvantaged communities, inadequate teaching and learning materials, ineffective assessment systems that fail to provide teachers with the information they need to improve student achievements and instruction, and fragmented teacher training programs that have not moved with time and have failed to adopt new ways of instruction and technology. Intervention professional development programs that address these challenges have been regarded as pivotal to achieving the indicators of teacher development in Africa (UNESCO 2015). While some intervention programs have proved successful, the lack of continuity has rendered them ineffective and research has therefore advocated for continuous professional development programs, instead of once-off initiatives (Durandt 2021; Jacinto & Jakobsen 2020).

Research (Adeniran et al. 2020) with rigorous evidence on teacher education, learning and effective instruction has been conducted and archived in many African university repositories and research centres with little dissemination outlets. The African Journal of Teacher Education and Development’s main objective is to provide a double blinded, peer reviewed and open access research outlet for scientific African and African relevant research.


Bakker, A., Cai, J. & Zenger, L., 2021, ‘Future themes of mathematics education research: An international survey before and during the pandemic’, Educational Studies in Mathematics 107(2), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-021-10049-w

Bethell, G., 2016, Mathematics education in sub-Saharan Africa: Status, challenges, and opportunities, World Bank, Washington, DC.

Durandt, R., 2021, ‘Design principles to consider when student teachers are expected to learn mathematical modelling’, Pythagoras 42(1), a618. https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v42i1.618

Evans, D.K. & Acosta, A.M., 2021, ‘Education in Africa: What are we learning?’, Journal of African Economies 30(1), 13–54. https://doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejaa009

Jacinto, E.L. & Jakobsen, A., 2020, ‘Mathematical knowledge for teaching: How do primary pre-service teachers in Malawi understand it?’, African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education 24(1), 31–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/18117295.2020.1735673

Mukuka, A., Shumba, O. & Mulenga, H.M., 2021, ‘Students’ experiences with remote learning during the COVID-19 school closure: Implications for mathematics education’, Heliyon 7(7), e07523. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e07523

Wolhuter, C.C., 2006, ‘Teacher training in South Africa: Past present and future’, Education Research and Perspectives 33(2), 124–138.

Workman, M., 2021, ‘When it comes to education curriculum reform in South Africa, context is everything’, The Daily Maverick, 08 December.

World Bank, 2020, World development indicators, viewed 12 November 2021, from https://databank.worldbank.org/source/world-development-indicators.

UNESCO, 2015, Teacher policy development guide, UNESCO, International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, viewed 12 November 2021, from https://teachertaskforce.org/sites/default/files/2020-09/370966eng_0_1.pdf.


Crossref Citations

1. Teacher Efforts Towards the Development of Students’ Mathematical Reasoning Skills
Angel Mukuka, Sudi Balimuttajjo, Vedaste Mutarutinya
SSRN Electronic Journal   year: 2022  
doi: 10.2139/ssrn.4136235