15.05.2014 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Paradigm shift for teacher training in the making in Senegal


Bilingual and multilingual teachers and educators are key in the reform of Senegal’s teacher training programme following the adaption of 9-10 years of basic education, comprising early childhood development, primary education, adult and youth literacy and lower secondary education

“We need to build a flexible system that train teachers in multiple languages and for various age-groups, which is vital to reach out to children in rural areas and improve the quality of the education system,” says Rokhaya Diawara of UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar. Ms Diawara underlines the importance of including literacy and non-formal educators, as well as administrative staff in the official training institutions, who are essential to ensure the efficiency of schools and other educational facilitates.

Ms Diawara is coordinating UNESCO capacity-building project (CapEFA) on the establishment of a national teachers’ training system for basic education, including literacy and non-formal education in Senegal.

During a workshop from 12-16 May 2014 in Dakar, Senegal, UNESCO gathered directors of national training institutions and services, as well as education professionals and experts and policy makers to validate the strategic documents for the new training programme. Several participants voiced the need for a paradigm shift to create the linkages between the formal and non-formal education, and between pre-school and elementary schools.

Change of mindsets

“This reform requires a significant change of mind-set but there is no doubt that it’s needed. Education system will benefit from more flexible and polyvalent teachers,” adds Rokhaya Diawara.

In 2012, Senegal had nearly 86,000 teachers working in at preschool, elementary and secondary levels as well as vocational training and administrative structures.

According to the Global Monitoring Report on Education for All 2013/14, Senegal is among the countries where the pupil / teacher ratio has fallen by at least 20% between 1999 and 2011. But less than 50% of teachers are trained to national standards. In pre-school, only 15% of teachers are trained.

The CapEFA project was launched in October 2012. Its objective is to support the Minister of Education of Senegal to implement a teachers’ training policy in basic education, including non-formal and literacy education, both in the Regional Training Centre for Education Personnel (CRFPE) and in universities. The project is scheduled to run until the end of 2014.

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