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Center for African Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Center for African Education

Opportunities > Internships and Volunteer Positions

Internships and Volunteer Positions

Internship Opportunity: African Education Speakers Bureau
The bureau will consist of several students at Teachers College who hold special knowledge in various areas of African Education and who are interested in educating local schools about these subjects. Students will prepare lectures, workshops and/or other activities in African education, depending on their knowledge, interests and skills.

The Center for African Education will help coordinate speaking engagements for bureau members and will cover the cost of travel, materials development and supplies, as well as other costs associated with their presentations. Bureau members will also have the option of signing up for either internship or graduate research credit with Professor George Bond. If members decide to sign up for school credit, there will be an additional requirement of a final paper that reflects on the member’s experiences preparing for and teaching about Africa in different New York City school contexts.

Students who are interested in this internship should send an email to explaining their knowledge areas and if they have any ideas for speaking engagements that you would want to do with the help of CAE. Please also include a resume/CV.

Internship Opportunity: UNESCO-IICBA Communication and Research Assistant, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


1.     Background


Established in 1999, the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) is one of six UNESCO Institutes and Centers under the direction of the UNESCO Secretariat.  The only UNESCO Institute in Africa, it is mandated to build

up and reinforce capacities for educational development and reform of its 53 Member States, and promote international cooperation for the development of education through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU).  The Institute derives its distinct comparative advantage within the UNESCO family from the following attributes:


·         Its leadership in building and strengthening Africa’s capacity in teacher education;

·         Its networking and outreach capacity that links Africa to specialist research and training on teacher education worldwide;

·         Its ability to utilize open learning and distance education to train and develop a critical mass of teachers, with the best expertise available, and the most cost-effective manner;

·         Its access to policy makers and opinion leaders for advocacy on critical teacher education issues; and

·         Its partnership with African inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations to identify and execute comprehensive strategies for Africa’s educational development.


Since its inception, some of the major activities undertaken include: Sponsoring 300 teacher education institutions staff from Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Swaziland to enroll in the Post Graduate Diploma in Distance Education (PGDDE) in partnership with the Indira Ghandi National Open University (IGNOU); Experimentation of a project on the contextualization of science teacher education using Open Source software; Development of Handbook for Educational Planners; Organization of Women Educational Leadership (WEL) workshops in various African countries;  a publication series entitled “Launching Fundamentals of Teacher Education”; and Research projects in the areas of management of schools and Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs), pedagogical integration of ICT, Teacher Training Institution’s (TTI) use of ICT to train teacher trainers.  

In this biennium, (2010-2011), IICBA will continue to build on the on-going programmes and further expand the activities to improve teacher development policy and teacher education institutions management in Africa.  To this end, IICBA is currently enhancing its visibility to maximize its efforts for capacity building, research, and policy advocacy.


2.     Objectives of the Internship


a.     Enhance students’ educational experience in the area of capacity building, research and advocacy of educational development in Africa through involvement in UNESCO-IICBA’s activities;

b.     Provide students with supervised practical experience in the area mentioned above;

c.     Expose students to the working environment of a multi-cultural organization and a better understanding of UNESCO-IICBA’s goals and activities and educational development in Africa;

d.     Inspire students with the experience developed by Educational Research Network in Western and Central Africa (ERNWACA) and other networks with the young researchers in diverse areas of education research.

e.     Educate the Teachers College community about education policy in Africa through presentations and workshops on campus conducted by student interns upon their return from the field.


3.     Functions/Duties and Expected Outputs


Under the direct supervision of the Programme Specialists, the intern is expected to perform the following tasks:


a.     Disseminate the concept of IICBA’s mission and activities and create public awareness about IICBA’s work;

b.     Inform the academic community of IICBA’s research activities, including about the methods and procedures for TTISSA Toolkit;

c.     Assist the Program Specialists and Project Officers in organizing and conducting planned workshops with professional inputs and services;

d.     Assist in preparing a report of the workshops after the conclusion of the events;

e.     Help develop post-workshop activities at the regional, national and university levels for wider dissemination and monitor those activities;

f.      Assist in preparing communication literature on IICBA’s research, capacity building and advocacy and other project activities;

g.     Assist in devising a strategy to make the fundamental series one of the sources for policy formulation;

h.     Maintain and enhance the use of the Teacher Education Network (TEN) by coordinating activities and on-line discussions on all teacher issues of interests to make it more dynamic.

i.      Assist with translation of briefs and short write-ups of activities for the regular  update of the IICBA website;

j.      Assist in preparation of an annual report by collecting information on activities and compiling them;

k.     Provide research assistance  as needed by Programme Specialists and Program/Projects Officers

l.      Make presentations and/or facilitate workshops at Teachers College on experiences and products of internship that teach about education policy in Africa.


4.     Expenses/Cost


All costs such as living expenses, travel, visa application fees, medical insurance, and any other costs related to the internship must be borne by the intern unless provided for by a sponsoring institution, e.g., university, education programme, foundations, etc.  The intern is requested to provide a proof of a valid health insurance and how to finance the stay in Addis Ababa.  UNESCO-IICBA will incur no costs except for travel that is related to the implementation of the IICBA activities to which they are involved.


5.     Eligibility and Qualifications


a.     Must be enrolled in or completed a degree programme in a graduate school (masters level or above) preferably in education or relevant fields;

b.     Demonstrated understanding of educational development in Africa;

c.     Experience in facilitating discussions between groups comprising professionals from a variety of cultural backgrounds, particularly in developing country contexts, and in ensuring progress in discussions and deliverables set by these groups;

d.     A proven track record in stimulating and ensuring sustained participation in communities of practice;

e.     A proven track record in developing and implementing web-sites and web-based tools, demonstrated by an increase in website traffic;

f.      Excellent communications and interpersonal skills;

g.     Ability to think strategically and to implement methodically and systematically, but with cultural sensitivity and flexibility;

h.     Fluency in English and/or French, and preferably in Portuguese;

i.      Good statistical and analytical skills are desirable.


6.     Duration of Internship


Minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 6 months.


7.     Status in the UN


Gratis Personnel and are not considered as staff members.


8.     Other Relevant Information


a.     Interns cannot take any UN vacancies during the period of internship

b.     Should an offer of employment be envisaged, a 3-month break from the end of the internship, must be respected

c.     The intern must keep confidential any and all unpublished information made known during the course of the internship and not publish any reports or paper on the basis of information obtained except with the written approval and authorization of UNESCO-IICBA.


9.     To Apply


All positions for the 2010-2011 school year are currently filled. Please check back later for information on available positions for the 2011-2012 school year.