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The Golden Teacher was originally developed by OnLineTraining Ltd (OLT) who are a provider of blended online training for teachers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). In 2013 they approached UNESCO and met with the Director of Education in Paris to seek advice on how they could make their training available at no cost to schools in the Global South, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.
The advice UNESCO gave was that schools were not generally ready for specialist training of this kind but were in need of training in basic teaching skills.
Many teachers in Africa are employed as ‘contract teachers’. These are people who are contracted by the relevant government agency to teach a class often in a particular village or other rural location, for a set period of time. They are not employed as professionally qualified teachers and no teaching qualifications are required. There is therefore a pressing need for some training in basic teaching skills.
Since many of these contract teachers are placed in rural locations with little or no internet access, online training is not a realistic option for them. However, most have mobile phones, and while network access is patchy, this is improving.