The Program for Education Development of Equatorial Guinea (PRODEGE), managed by FHI 360, is a public-private partnership between the national government and the Hess Corporation designed to transform the country’s education system and give children the skills they need to succeed. During PRODEGE’s first five years, FHI 360 focused on training two thirds of the country’s primary teachers, establishing model primary schools, modernizing the education information system and strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC in Spanish).
The program enhanced teachers’ classroom skills and helped local education professionals develop and adapt modern instructional methods based on local content and schools’ needs. PRODEGE created an accelerated teacher certification program in which teachers learned pedagogical skills such as making lessons more engaging and managing multi-grade classrooms, as well as content knowledge in communications, math, and natural and social sciences. FHI 360 oversaw the training of 45 teacher tutors, who then strengthened the skills of hundreds of educators across the country. The program also certified 992 in-service teachers who previously had no formal training and represent a third of the country’s primary teachers.
PRODEGE followed a comprehensive model for school improvement known as “active schools,” which uses personalized instruction to ensure that children learn critical skills and focuses on developing strong bonds between schools, parents and communities. PRODEGE established and supported 54 model active schools, with a total of 3,200 students, and a nationwide network of Teacher Circles to provide peer support. The program worked with local authors and teachers to develop 48 student learning guides for second through sixth grade and a series of first-grade teaching manuals. PRODEGE also trained all first-grade teachers and directors on a comprehensive first-grade approach that included a pedagogical method for teaching literacy and math skills and continuous assessment of students’ progress.
FHI 360 experts developed a modern education management information system to collect and analyze current data on schools, teachers and students. The data are used to promote dialogue on education policy and to help prioritize decisions on matters such as over-age students and teacher hiring. PRODEGE trained MEC technical specialists in using new data analysis and processing tools and empowered them to present the data to the public and authorities. The program helped education officials maintain an annual census of schools, teachers and students, enabling the MEC to develop national five-year trend analyses of key indicators such as student promotion, completion and repetition at the primary and secondary levels.