In January, the Music Crossroads Academy (MCA) in Zimbabwe stepped up their quality of service delivery by introducing a special Teachers Training Programme, which enforces a consistent and continuous training schedule for the Academy’s teaching staff.
The programme has become a mandatory activity, with a minimum 75% attendance contractual agreement on the teachers’ daily schedule. This was done to ensure that quality is not only maintained but also improved, to the highest possible limits.
According to Music Crossroads Zimbabwe, the academy values the time that enrolled students have taken and the choice they’ve made in enrolling at the academy. Ensuring that the facilitators are kept on their toes every day is their way of showing their appreciation for their student.
Since the inception of this programme, the teachers are more in touch with the modules’ subject matter and have been inspired to further explore the various subject areas. This has caused a positive impact on performance, particularly where the students have also stepped up.
According to one of the students, “We decided to also schedule our own practice times because we wondered to ourselves that if the teachers have allocated time to practice, what more can the students do to try to understand the curriculum?”
The programme consists of the core curriculum modules, namely: Body Percussion, Rhythmic Reading and Writing, Marimba Melodic Reading Ensemble, Main Instrument, Harmony, Keyboard Harmony and Teachers’ Ensemble. Meticulous attention is paid to every topic in the modules. Teachers go through the practice material thoroughly, ensuring that every teacher is on the same page.
Since the curriculum is hands-on and demanding in terms of practice time, weekly practice sheets are given out and handed in by every teacher, thereby ensuring that a regular personal practice habit is established and adhered to by all teachers as an example to the students.
Emmanuel Mujuru, Music Crossroads’ Head of Pedagogy, was very excited about the teacher training programme. “The Academy environment is now very encouraging and conducive,” he explained. “Everyone, students and teachers alike, are seen practicing daily. Everyone seems to be in overdrive and I attribute this to the teachers’ improved confidence in lesson delivery. The teachers’ training programme has definitely paid dividends”.
Originally published on 23 February 2016 by Music Crossroads.