Burundi is among the poorest countries in the world; more than two thirds of the population live below the poverty line and almost half is under 15 years of age. The country is today mobilised to ensure a stable and sustainable development by the end of 2025. The current guidelines focus on two major concerns: ensuring GDP growth and halving the poverty rate. The performance of the education system is a deciding factor to achieve these objectives.
In this context, France Éducation international supports the Burundian Ministry of Education in the reforms undertaken to improve learning from the early school years.
Basic education: a government’s priority
Since 2013, the government of the Republic of Burundi has undertaken a series of educational reforms, in particular the establishment of a basic education, from 6 to 14 years old. The basic education system is now divided into three two-year cycles and the final three-year cycle.
As part of this reform, the Burundian Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training has focused its efforts on reducing the repetition rate, increasing teaching hours, revising school programmes and curricula, reforming the initial teacher training system and the professional development, and improving the system management.
Between 2013 and 2014, France Éducation international supported the teams of the ministry responsible for the production of textbooks, teaching guides and accelerated continuing education. The following year, it helped with the finalisation of the first version of the curriculum for basic education . The curriculum hinges on six main areas: languages (Kirundi, French, English), mathematics, science and technology, human sciences, entrepreneurship and arts.
Efforts are centred on the first years of school
In order to continue the progressive implementation of the reform, the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training is focusing on improving learning from the early school years with the support of the World Bank.
France Éducation international has been mobilising a team of five international experts and three local experts since 2018 to support the Burundian teams of the Study Office of Basic Education Programmes in the elaboration of textbooks, teaching guides, training modules and teaching materials for cycles 1 and 2 of basic education.
The ultimate goal of those initiatives, as it is written in the curriculum for basic education, is to be able to produce by the end of school years “an individual who is shaped by the knowledge, know-how and social skills [...]; an individual truly capable of taking charge of himself and being useful to the community”. France Éducation international is fully committed alongside the government of the Republic of Burundi to the success of this objective.