Experts discuss the framework for teachers’ certification in French-speaking countries in Africa
Gathered at the offices of UNESCO Dakar, 30-31 July 2013, experts continue the discussions initiated in June 2012 on the development of national and regional frameworks for teachers’ certification in Francophone Africa.
Invited to this meeting are the Directors of teachers training institutions and curriculum and evaluation specialists of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Mali, Niger, Togo, Cameroon, DR Congo and Senegal as well as experts from partner agencies including UNESCO.
Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS, 2012) have shown that access to the teaching profession standards vary considerably from one country to another and in some countries, less than half of the teachers meet the minimum qualification standards.
Moreover, most countries in the region have undertaken reforms to professionalize the teaching profession, but the differences in practices in this process require a dialogue between countries to better understand educational, socio-political and economic issues, and even mobility as it relates to teachers qualifications frameworks for teachers. Noteworthy is the difficulties in semantics because of the colonial education legacy in the various linguistic regions which impact certification practices
Synergy for teacher quality
The above finding reinforces UNESCO and its partners determination to pursue the development project of national and regional frameworks for teachers qualifications in Africa. "Indeed, the process of implementation of the various initiatives on the teaching profession in sub-Saharan Africa, the development of professional standards based on skills needed to ensure the quality of initial teacher training and professional development in the regions is highly needed, "said Jean Adotevi, Senior Specialist on the Teachers’ issues at UNESCO Dakar.
"These qualifications frameworks to be developed relate to both employment standards, and qualification and professional standards," continues Adotevi.
Partners such as the ADEA, TUNING, UEMOA, ADB, INEE, IOM, CONFEMEN, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), UNICEF, ILO, institutions of higher education, the Commission of the African Union (AUC) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), etc.. conscious of the need to take into account these important normative dimensions in improving the quality of teaching and teacher training process, have signed on to engage in a synergistic approach to collaboration on these issues.
An introductory workshop
In June 2012, an introductory workshop on the development of national and regional certification frameworks in the teaching profession was held in Dakar. It enabled among other things to:
- Collect and share information on country practices regarding teacher qualifications, certification and registration on the list of suitable candidates;
- Explore the methodological approaches to the definition of basic and specific skills in the countries in the developing of national qualifications frameworks and the definition of standards for the qualification of teachers.
To move forward
This Roundtable follows the introductory workshop and aims to:
- Identify generic (or core) and specific skills needed in initial teacher qualifications training and those to necessary for continuous professional development;
- Discuss with partners and invited countries the methodological framework for the development of national and regional qualifications frameworks based on project proposal by UNESCO;
- Develop a pilot project for the development of national and regional qualifications frameworks, and;
- Engage international and national taskforces in a south-south collaboration on issues related to the qualification of teachers.
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