24.06.2016 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Principals “Back to School” to Improve the Quality of Learning in Niger


In line with its policy of supporting countries in improving the quality of learning, UNESCO, through the CapED Niger Program, has initiated a long-distance training program for 80 primary school principals, on educational leadership and on their schools’ administrative management, in the 8 regions of the country.

Educational Leadership and Schools’ Administrative Management at the Heart of the Training

In spite of numerous activities that aimed at improving the performances of school principals, who are ultimately responsible for their schools’ success, there are huge gaps when it comes to educational leadership and the administrative management of their institutions, which, in turn, result in a more pronounced disinterest of the community vis-à-vis the school. Faced with the need to urgently address these shortcomings, the capacity of 80 primary school principals will be strengthened through modules developed for this purpose as part of the CapED Program.

ICTs to Reinforce Capacities of School Principals

This capacity building activity for school principals is testing a training strategy that would be more promising and less expensive than a conventional face-to-face training, all while using new Information and Communication Technology. This allows for a larger number of beneficiaries that will remain in office throughout the training, including those residing in rural areas. To reach this goal, 116 digital tablets and accessories adapted to the context of Niger (solar chargers, memory cards) were acquired through financing from the CapED Niger Program. These were meant for 3 training supervisors, 80 school principals, 16 tutors, 8 IT technicians from regional offices of Primary Education and 9 national trainers, and were acquired through financing from the CapED Niger Program.

The official tablet distribution ceremony for the Ministry of Primary Education, Literacy, Promotion of National Languages and Civic Education (MEP/A/PLN/EC) by UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar was held on May 25th, 2016 at the offices of the National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO in Niamey. Mr. Huot-Marchand, Education Program Specialist at UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar, representing the Regional Director, mentioned that these tablets were an essential tool to attain quality education for Nigerien children. Indeed, Niger is among the countries pursuing new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the SDG-4 which aims for "an inclusive, equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all". By receiving this work equipment, Mr. Moussa Siddo, Deputy Secretary-General of the MEP/A/PLN/EC, praised the exemplary cooperation relations between UNESCO and the Niger, particularly within the CapED program. He asked the Regional Director’s representative to convey the Government of Niger’s full gratitude to the highest authorities of UNESCO, for the varied and multifaceted forms of support for the benefit of the Nigerien educational sector. He also expressed his wishes that the cooperation between Niger and UNESCO continues and be further strengthened.

Prior Preparation of School Principals

The ceremony launches the effective start of the training of the 80 school principals during 5 days, in their respective regions, on the use of tablets and the long distance training strategy in preparation for self-training sessions on the two modules for which they will benefit from an internet connection for 3 months.

At the end of the 3 months, a mission will be organized in the 8 regions to evaluate the long-distance training of school principals and other activities within the CapED program.

The CapED Program in Niger

It will be noted that UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar coordinates the Capacity Building Program for Teachers in Niger since November 2012. Its main objective is to develop and improve institutional capacities for the training and professional development of teachers of both primary and secondary schools. Since its launch, this program has been a part of UNESCO’s "Capacity Building Program for Education for All (CapEFA)", aimed at improving the capacity of countries to achieve the EFA goals by 2015. Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of the new agenda Education 2030 in 2015, the CapEFA program has been aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all" and became the "Capacity Building Program for Education (CapED)."

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