Burkina Faso: Making art and culture education a reality

The government of Burkina Faso has adopted an Outline Act on Education and a National Cultural Policy, which notably call for the promotion of artistic and cultural education. Thus the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is working to include artistic and cultural modules in school curricula, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Burkina Faso is also an OIF beneficiary through an initiative devoted to the design and implementation of a programme for the development of cultural industries.

Aim of the mission
The mission falls within this logic by providing assistance to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Burkina Faso in the development of a strategy and action plan to make the integration of art and culture modules into school curricula a reality, enabling young people to discover and better relate to their own culture while opening up to others.

© Bernard Boucher

Two experts, Bernard Boucher (Canada) and Hector Schargorodsky (Argentina) were selected to help Burkina Faso achieve this objective, in close collaboration with a national inter-ministerial committee composed of both cultural and educational ministerial representatives.

Activities undertaken
During their first country visit in May 2012, the experts met and consulted the different stakeholders involved with cultural and artistic education: the Ministers for Education and Literacy, for Secondary and Higher Education, and for Culture and Tourism; directors of higher education institutions; representatives of public training institutions, museums and schools; personalities from the Burkina Faso cultural scene; and representatives of international cooperation organisations working in the field of culture and/or education in the country. These encounters enabled the experts to draw a preliminary diagnostic of the existing, if limited, practices within the education system, with a view to drafting a preliminary strategy that responds to the challenges and possibilities specific to Burkina Faso.

This preliminary strategy was communicated to the different national stakeholders concerned so that they could develop it in view of the second country visit in July 2012. The documents were then evaluated, adapted, developed and rewritten during a comprehensive consultation process with various stakeholders, including those who will be carrying the strategy forward (notably the Ministries, unions, UNICEF and ECOWAS).

The Strategy for the Development of the Arts and Culture in the Burkina Faso Education System was presented at a workshop on July 24th 2012. This was attended by near to 200 people, notably two Ministers, representatives of public and private institutions, as well as artists and cultural entrepreneurs. Following a debate session, the Strategy was unanimously adopted by those present. The Inter-ministerial Committee has now to carry out this strategy, the result of their collaboration with the two international experts.

2013 Follow-up activities
The follow-up mission took place from 8 to 18 October 2013 and enabled the experts and the national team to prepare a draft ministerial decree defining the governance orientation of the strategy; the basis for a framework on relations with technical and financial partners; a plan to sensitize the arts and school communities to the Strategy and an experimental programme to train teachers on arts education methodologies; as well as a framework for consultation between public and private artistic training institutions.

2014 Follow-up activities
Based on the results from the previous missions, the new follow-up mission took place from 7 to 17 September 2014 and allowed additional support activities for the implementation of the Strategy for the Development of the Arts and Culture in the Burkina Faso Education System. Thus, the experts supported the DGFR in establishing arts training curricula for teachers, in mobilizing technical and financial partners, in creating a support network, in elaborating a work plan to prepare for the revision of textbooks, and in identifying financial resources to ensure the sustainability of results and the continued operationalization of the project in 2015.

More activities in Burkina Faso

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