First step: Learn from the Teachers

First step: Learn from the Teachers


Cell-Ed traveled to Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria last month to learn directly from teachers how we can best deliver year-round professional development via cell phones to more than 20,000 teachers as part of our partnership with Discovery Learning.  

The three-year partnership with Discovery Learning aims to improve educational outcomes for more than 100,000 girls through better teaching methods, including more student-led discussions and how to present content that connects.

Currently, Discovery Learning runs large, in-person teacher training workshops in these three countries. To reinforce the key literacy, numeracy and classroom management concepts covered at the workshops, Cell-Ed will create and transform related content for a user-friendly mobile environment so teachers can continue to learn anywhere, anytime on their basic cell phones, no internet needed.

First, though, Cell-Ed needed to collect data and hear directly from teachers about their challenges and inspirations so we could be confident that what we create meets their needs. In our month-long interviews and meetings, we learned about everything from what teachers find most difficult about oversized classes to mobile phones being called “yams” in Ghana.

Our takeaways of what teachers prize most:

  • The idea of a friendly competition among schools to encourage usage
  • Cross-platform solutions, the ability to use both basic and smartphones
  • Localized content to account for local dialects, idioms and context
  • Flexibility so they can find a lesson idea or review a concrete topic when they want


Cell-Ed will pilot the intervention this spring, and launch the full program in September.

Learn more about how this partnership between UKAID, Discovery Communications and Discovery Learning Alliance, and Cell-Ed is improving girls’ access to quality education and life opportunities in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.