From India to Sub Saharan Africa: supporting school leaders in transforming their schools into Extended Professional Learning Community (EPLC)

Michèle Deane, TESSA
Geneviève Puiségur-Pouchin, directrice de la collection Apréli@ pour les chef.fe.s d'établissement:

“The school has an increasing importance as the locus of professional development for teachers. School-based CDP can focus directly on teaching practices and the practicalities of improving the quality of teaching. … However, leadership is critically important for this kind of school-based teacher education.” (Cullen et al, 2012)

“The role of school principals is crucial for establishing, shaping and fostering instructional quality.”  (OCDE, 2016)

[A school leader:] “Someone who creates the space that fosters teachers’ professional and personal development, and encourages students’ personal growth, creativity, and their own journey of discovery.” (Saavedra, J. 2017)


The role of schools as communities of professional learning and development (CPLDs) and that of their leaders as enablers of the professional growth of their staff and leaders of these CPLDs are a theme that often appears in the current quest for strategies to meet the 2030 Development Goals.

It is however the case that school leaders have not necessarily been equipped, let alone trained to accomplish this new role and transform their schools into CPLDs. TESS-India has been aware of this and produced a most useful collection of key resources, School leadership effective practices that “offer further guidance for school leaders aiming to improve teaching and learning using the TESS-India school leadership OER.” These resources are rightly anchored in the culture and contexts of the Indian states where our TESS-India colleagues worked.

When introduced to these resources, our friends and colleagues from the Apréli@ OER felt that these were extremely useful and needed to be translated and adapted to the context of French speaking African countries.

This is how the Apréli@ collection for school leaders was born.

The Association for the Promotion of @frican Open Educational Resources (Apréli @, has therefore translated into French and adapted to the contexts of French-speaking sub-Saharan African countries the TESS-India resources for Indian schools leaders.

These four units available are aimed at transforming teaching-learning processes to improve student outcomes by building on the continuing professional development of teachers. They are available (only in French at the moment) on the Apréli@ website (

  • Leading teachers’ professional development
  • Supporting teachers to raise performance
  • Developing coaching and mentoring in your school
  • Leading the use of technology in your school

Apréli@ is currently working on a fifth unit that opens a new field, that of school governance. Entitled Leading the School Development Plan, this unit focuses on the school's development planning process, with a view to improving learning conditions and outcomes, and creates synergies between the individual development of actors and the development of the school community.

These resources for school leaders complement the ACQA resource collection (ACQA = Continually Improving the Quality of Learning, which places the school at the heart of professional development and equips its various actors (teachers, coaches and mentors, school leaders) to enable it to evolve towards an Extended Professional Learning Community (EPLC) based on the continuous professional development of all staff. The provision of these resources capitalizes on the work carried out by TESSA and Apréli@ in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa, separately or jointly, as well as the resources resulting from it.

Work has started to translate these resources into English and to adapt them to the contexts of English-speaking sub-Saharan African countries. It is likely they will be posted on TESSA Share. Follow our progress on TESSA's and Apréli@’s Facebook pages, on the Apréli@ website and in TESSA News on the TESSA website.

Of the wonders of OERs! And of the convergence of initiatives from continents geographically distant but facing similar challenges. A further example of the impressive power of OERs that can be adapted to contexts and needs. It says a lot about their flexibility and vitality!

Bibliographie - Bibliography

Cullen Jane, Keraro Fred and Wamutitu Joseph, (2012) Leadership support for school based professional development for primary school teachers: the use of TESSA OERs in schools in Kenya (TESSA website,

OCDE (2016) La direction d'établissement : un atout pour le développement des communautés d'apprentissage professionnel en ligne, consulté le 6 décembre 2017

OECD (2016) School leadership for developing professional learning communities, on line, accessed 6 December 2017

Jaime Saavedra (2017) The principal makes the difference. The World Bank, Education for Global development blog, en ligne consulté le 6 décembre 2017