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The regional meetings > Sub-Saharan Africa > Ivory Coast

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  Increased participation with local expertise and materials
By Leila Loupis,
UNESCO Harare
   
  Breaking dependence on foreign materials
   
    In Ivory Coast, a study of books and educational materials used in schools, especially for scientific subjects, found that most materials were bought at a high cost from Europe. This meant that there was a shortage of learning materials and also that the materials used were not always the best adapted to the local curriculum.
   
    In the last half of the decade of Education for All, the Ministry of Education decided to try to use local expertise and material to construct teaching materials. The content of the material was also revised to take into consideration the national context.
   
  Teachers trained in materials production
   
    The Ministry studied the possibility of producing the education aids locally using recuperated material, such as wood, cardboard, and plastic which normally cost very little, if anything.
   
    Based on a comprehensive list of materials commonly used, a sample of each piece was constructed, using only low cost construction materials. For example, a cross section of a heart made of wood was used to illustrate blood flow through arteries. Further, seminars were held to train teachers to construct the pieces themselves, and also to conduct training seminars for other teachers in their district. This method meant that nearly all schools were trained in the construction of the same models. Inexpensive cardboard models of each piece were distributed to each district to serve as a base.
   
  Locally made materials better used
   
    The results were highly positive. Using this method the schools were able to construct the educational materials for less than $1 US per piece, instead of the thousands of dollars that they had been paying their European suppliers. The teachers also felt that their needs were better met in terms of the materials provided, and that having made the material themselves, they made better use of them. Based on these positive results, new models are now being developed using local expertise and resources, which will be used in a wider range of subjects.
   
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