Education managers

By itself, improving the skills of teachers in the developing world is not enough to ensure education for all children by 2015. We urgently need volunteers with experience in education management at primary school level (we also have a limited number of placements for managers with secondary-level experience) to go overseas in roles as soon as possible.

Roles generally range from one to two years.

You’ll be a qualified and experienced head teacher, deputy head teacher, local education adviser or a senior level teacher with at least three to five years’ senior or middle management experience.

What you’ll be doing

You’ll work to improve education programmes and the quality of education delivery. You’ll help with school planning, teacher training programmes, continuous professional development, inspection systems, school administration and budgeting, and teacher recruitment, in countries such as Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria or Rwanda.

  • Example role

Please note this is just an example placement to illustrate the kind of roles that may come up in your skill area. To view our live roles, click ‘Get started’ below.

Education manager

Rwanda’s education system suffered huge losses in qualified teachers during the 1994 genocide but the country is rebuilding its education infrastructure and has made remarkable progress since then. Rwanda is on its way to reaching the education Millennium Development Goals with a primary school enrolment rate of over 90 per cent. But retention rates are poor, with many students not attending school past primary level, due to social exclusion and poor quality of education.

As an education manager working with the Provincial Office of Education in Shyogwe, you’ll supervise schools and promote formal and non-formal education programmes. You’ll enhance the quality and effectiveness of classroom teaching and learning in primary and lower secondary schools by strengthening the professional capacity and inclusive education skills of teachers.

What you'll be doing

  • Assisting the provincial coordinator of education for schools in supervising schools in the Shyogwe diocese
  • Enhancing the teaching skills of teachers and enabling them to implement effective training for staff in their schools
  • Promoting the effective and efficient use of teaching resources in schools
  • Raising awareness of inclusive education management
  • Increasing the management and leadership skills of school directors, enabling them to lead their schools more effectively

What you'll need

You’ll be a qualified teacher with at least five years’ experience in primary or lower secondary education. Strong leadership and management skills are also essential, as is knowledge of best practice in differentiation and inclusive education. Patience, flexibility and the ability to speak French are important, as it will help you to build strong relationships with colleagues. A sense of adventure would also be beneficial, as you’ll be travelling around by motorbike, (VSO provide training).

And the rest...

Rwanda has a surprisingly varied landscape for such a small country. Known as the ‘Land of the thousand hills’ it’s situated on the watershed between Africa’s two largest river systems, the Nile and the Congo and most of the country is impressively mountainous. Rwanda is happily situated just below the equator, so enjoys a temperate climate all year round.

You’ll be based in Shyogwe in a small village four kilometres from the road that runs from Kigali to Butare in the South of Rwanda. It has a small market selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fresh bread, milk and clothes. Rwanda is Africa’s premier gorilla trekking ground and you might get the chance to spend time with rare primates such as mountain gorillas, colobus and baboons.

Next steps

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Training a new generation of doctors in Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone has one health worker for every 5260 people, compared to the UK where there is one health worker for every 77 people. The effects of the dramatic shortfall in doctors, nurses and midwives are self-evident. In Sierra Leone, one in five children doesn’t reach their fifth birthday. Through VSO’s drive to help develop the country’s health services, volunteers like paediatrician Dr Shona Johnston are sharing life-saving skills with Sierra Leonean medical students. Foday Emmanuel Morovia is learning emergency procedures from Shona at Freetown Hospital.



Can I volunteer for longer than my original placement length?

This will depend on the needs of the organisation and whether they need you to stay longer than planned.