In General

 The existence of a resource centre enhances the image of the education programs schools and the community.

LRC 

 Context

The Learning centre as a model has influenced teacher development in other countries around the world. In the early 1970s, teachers' centres were enthusiastically sold abroad as an effective way of responding to teachers' needs and of ensuring professional growth (Kahn 1982, Gough 1989).

There are a number of underlying ideas commonly identified with Learning centres, the most enduring one being that they should address teachers' needs. However, what Learning centres actually become and what they can achieve seems to depend very much on the context in which they are used.

Learning centres in developing countries have changed over time. In many countries they began in a small way to address local needs. More recently, with the moves to dramatically increase education provision and improve the quality of education, successive donor aided projects have taken over the running of these centres. These projects have rejuvenated the centres and often increased their number, and then they have used them for their own purposes. Under each project the role of the teachers' centre and the contribution it has made to teacher development and to improved practice in schools has changed.

Learning centres encourage professional interaction and a certain level of curriculum development and materials production, which results in improvement in the quality of teaching.

The need for Learning centre empowerment, with the centres being responsible for professional and academic improvement, where the training ideas come from both top-down and bottom-up initiatives, is an important policy.

Resource centre services should be documented in policies at each of the three levels of responsibility: county, district and school.

Concept

 

An effective resource centre program which meets the demands of the curriculum and the learning needs of students is dependent on four basic components: 

Personnel - Collection - Facilities - Budget

Centrally located, each resource centre intends to be a regional resource and serve the needs of a wider geographi­cal area and not just its home schools. Each resource centre should be furnished with tables, chairs and bookshelves, and equipped with teaching aids, reference mate­rials and educational games.

The existence of a resource centre enhances the image of the education programs schools and the community.

Adequate facilities and sufficient equipment allow for flexibility in scheduling, and make possible the provision of space and equipment for individual, group, and other projects. Budget increases make improvements in each of the three other elements possible.

The activities and strategic goals of a LRC

 

The tasks of the LRC

Strategic goals

In service

Administration

Inspection/coaching

Community Development

Education management

Resource –Based Instruction

Co-operative, learner centred teaching and learning

Library/Research Instruction

ICT Instruction/Media Literacy

Curriculum support

Technical Services

Co-operation with other Ministries/ Donors/ Agencies...

 

Improve the school quality and stop school exclusion

Improve the quality of the education system

Improve the conditions of the teacher

Give the MoE the facility to manage the education system

Improve the quality of teaching (education)

Expand the school offer

Enforce the local education structure

 

 

Qualities of an ideal LRC

 

• 'neutrality', so that all 'should feel free to expose their weaknesses and strengths in a mutual search for improvements'

• 'relevance' as identified by the teacher not by someone from 'above'

• 'flexibility' to 'reflect the changing needs of teachers and the educational system'

• 'education not training' so that teachers are not expected to carry out 'almost blindly' the instruction they have received but 'are given the tools for the job and then trusted to apply them with understanding'

• 'teachers as providers' as well as consumers so that teachers would not just seek in-set from experts but will also be able to 'use personal strengths' to share ideas with colleagues and act as leaders of workshops

• 'problem centred' rather than solution-centred as there are no 'universally applicable solutions'. Such change would lead to an 'emphasis on diagnosing and studying problems', and, by sharing expertise and calling on outside resources, on 'finding appropriate solutions to the real situation'

• 'professional atmosphere' as regards 'the building and the relationships set up by the staff of the centre', while acknowledging economic restraints. In particular are required 'a non institutional building' and 'an "open" director' who 'commands the professional respect of his staff, teachers and visitors'

• 'small beginnings' so that 'by offering realistic support' for teachers 'struggling to meet daily needs', it would attract a growing clientele and expand with demand, and thus 'retain credibility (with) teachers and the community as a rational and realistic institution' in a way which 'a lavishly housed and equipped centre' would not.

• 'locality' is ideally within easy reach of schools or homes of the teachers

• 'democracy' which implies a majority of teachers sitting on committees and sub-committees associated with centres thus demonstrating 'the importance of the apostrophe after the word 'teachers' in the name Teachers' centre'.