Between August 2016 and June 2019, the CIEP has assisted the Nigerien ministries for primary and secondary education, alongside Expertise France and the IIEP, with a project supporting the quality of education. The final assessment and evaluation confirmed the benefits of this measure, amongst which is the desire to pursue the quest for quality in education.
Quality in education to serve educational policy in Niger
To strengthen its education and training sector programme for the 2014-2024 period, Niger received a Global Partnership for Education grant, supplemented by AFD (French Development Agency) funding, both pooled together in a mutual fund. This mutual fund financed the “Support Programme for Quality Education” (PAEQ).
For three years, the Expertise France - CIEP - IIEP consortium has played a role, alongside the ministries for primary and secondary education in Niger, in implementing the programme and strengthening its technical capacity, through an aide for the contracting authority.
In addition, the CIEP has assisted the ministry of primary teaching with the linguistic transition from national languages to French from the fourth year of primary education onwards, as recommended by the curriculum reform. This constitutes a major change, which has required the support of a team of CIEP experts over 18 months. In a multilingual country where French is the language of schooling for children, the aim is to improve how the challenges of transitioning to using French as the teaching language are met, by taking the local linguistic context into consideration. A definitive model of linguistic transition with the Nigerien authorities has allowed for the co-construction of training modules for bilingual teaching methods and the production of specialised pedagogical tools.
A relationship of trust and overall satisfaction
CIEP representatives went to Niamey at the end of June for the closure of the project, in order to provide a full assessment and evaluation of its involvement.
A series of interviews with Nigerien managers and executives, as well as a survey, confirmed overall satisfaction, both in terms of the technical support for carrying out the PAEQ, and the work to strengthen managers’ skills. Commitment from the teams of experts has enabled a relationship of trust and unfailing collaboration to be built, despite the inherent difficulties of an educational system of poor resources and means.
The support for the contracting authority has assured an achievement rate of higher than 90% for the project. Even though the need for implementation support has weakened the plans to enhance capacity, the foundations for the search for technical and managerial autonomy have been laid, along with the desire to continue the quest for quality in education. After nearly three years of close collaboration, the managers and executives that we have met are motivated. The CIEP, for its part, intervened at the request of the Ministry of Primary Education’s Department of Initial and Continuous Training (DFIC), to support 16 executives with piloting the training of primary teachers during a two-week training course at its base in Sèvres, in February 2019.
While the desire to drive change was not initially observed, it is evident that by the end of this project to assist the contracting authority, this was no longer the case. It is the CIEP’s systematic and partnership approach that was a driving force, as well as the dedication and quality of the expertise from the CIEP, Expertise France and the IIEP.
Watch these videos to see the project in images (in French only):