With more than 85 per cent of its annual budget supporting programme delivery, COL is a nimble and effective organisation that focuses on delivering value for money. COL makes smart use of scarce resources, ensuring that contributions, grants and earned revenue are used to create and add value.

By working with partners and finding innovative ways to share our knowledge and resources, COL is able to make a difference in the lives of citizens throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

Support for open/innovative schooling

COL supports the development of open schools and open educational resources (OER) to increase access to quality education, especially among traditionally disadvantaged populations like girls and women, and children living in rural areas or in poverty. COL introduced OER to open schools in 2009 via the collaborative development of course materials in 20 subjects across six countries.

Over the past six years, COL has worked with ministries of education, institutions and non-governmental organisations to establish new open schools and strengthen existing ones. Open/innovative schools and OER enable people who are challenged by traditional classroom settings to complete their primary and secondary education and become larger economic contributors to both their families and communities.

Support for teacher education

COL’s Teacher Education Programme works with partner organisations to increase the supply of qualified teachers by increasing the capacity of education institutions to train more teachers, building skills among teacher educators, and improving the quality of related programmes and materials.

COL’s Commonwealth for Teacher Integration programme aims to improve the quality of teaching using information and communications technology (ICT), while its Open Resources for English Language Teaching project supports teachers in junior secondary schools (JSS) by providing a bank of ‘open content’ multimedia. Over the past three years, 4,815 teachers and teacher educators have been trained in various aspects of open and distance learning and 24 teacher education institutions in eight countries have enhanced the quality of their curricula through the development and use of OER.

Technology-enabled learning

Despite the phenomenal growth of access to mobile technologies, access to ICTs for learning is inequitably distributed. Many governments are making efforts to increase bandwidth and distribute computing devices, however effective policies are often lacking. COL supports governments and institutions to develop eLearning policies and programmes. At the same time, we are working to develop the capacity of teachers and learners to make effective use of appropriate technologies for learning.

Since 2012, 13 institutions in nine countries have adopted eLearning strategies, 3,788 teachers have been trained to effectively use eLearning, and eLearning methods have been used by 158,890 learners.