19.09.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Improving science education for girls in Niger

Pupils of a primary school in Niger © UNESCO/P. Waeles

UNESCO Dakar and partners are making a major push to improve the quality of mathematics, science and technology teaching for girls in Niger.


The Organization is joining hands with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and FAWE, the Forum for African Women Educationalists.

UNESCO and IDB have mobilized $150.000 each and FAWE is providing their technical know-how on girl's education and the question of gender.

The project will assist the efforts of Niger's government to reinforce the competences of teachers at primary and secondary education level.

The aim is to integrate a gender-sensitive pedagogical approach in the teaching of scientific disciplines.

Niger’s two ministries involved in education will implement with the technical assistance of FAWE and ensure the involvement of national experts and local training opportunities. The two ministries are the Ministry of Basic Education, Literacy and the Promotion of National Languages and the Ministry of Secondary and Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Significant progress on several levels

"The project will significantly improve the performance of girls in science subjects, which will facilitate their access to secondary education (high school)," says Hassana Alidou, Chief of Section, Basic to Higher Education and Learning in UNESCO Dakar. "We are delighted to conduct this activity whose results will be multiple," she adds. 

Indeed, the project aims to:

  • Significantly strengthen the institutional capacities in the two education ministries;
  • Improve the quality of the training of trainers and teachers in science subjects;
  • Train a critical mass of trainers and all teachers of mathematics, science and technology basic education level;
  • Develop training policies for teachers in science subjects, integrating of mathematics, science and technology including the issue of gender and participative learning.

Complementary initiatives

The new project goes hand in hand with two existing extrabudgetary projects of $650,000 each to support the Ministry of Basic Education, Literacy and the Promotion of National Languages to improve teacher training policies in Niger and Burkina Faso.

In the context of these two projects, the UNESCO Dakar has identified best practices in the teaching of mathematics in secondary schools.

“The new UNESCO-IDB project will benefit from contributions of these initiatives and vice versa,” adds Alidou.

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