Support for basic education quality management
The future of entire generations is threatened by a global learning crisis, of which Africa is particularly affected. Despite progress in access to education on the continent, nearly 60% of students have inadequate literacy and math skills after six years of primary school. Faced with children struggling to learn, IIEP-UNESCO Dakar, together with 15 African countries has set up an innovative programme to support the management of basic education quality.
Improve Management to Transform Practices
Despite a decade of reforms and national, regional and international efforts to improve enrolment rates and student achievement, the quality of education remains a major problem on the continent. In February 2018, the IIEP-UNESCO Dakar Office launched a programme to support the management of education quality in sub-Saharan Africa with the support of the French Development Agency (Agence française de développement. )
Our programme approaches quality management as a process of continuous improvement of educational action at all levels of the education system: central administration, decentralised structures, the school and its community. The objective: to assist stakeholders in a sustainable transformation of their professional practices to improve the quality of education.
Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Niger and Senegal contributed to the programme at its inception, before Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Togo joined in 2020. The experience is now shared with seven additional African countries, bringing the total involved to 15 countries.
“What do education workers actually do in their workplaces? To what extent are their practices likely to generate quality education for all and how should they be coordinated to achieve this? It is to these questions that the quality management support programme seeks to provide coordinated and coherent answers and solutions, formulated and designed hand in hand with those in the field.”
Original in its approach and method, the programme is comprised of three phases: assess, propose and assist. This is innovative in the sense that barriers to quality education are not assumed - and avenues for improvement are not predefined. The reflections and solutions emanating from the programme are co-constructed with local participants, building on their experience and on promising practices already existing within the education systems.
In order to carry out the assessment, the inspectors and teachers of the normal schools learned to detach themselves from their managerial habits and take on the mantle of researchers. Rather than blaming certain practices, they tried to understand them. In the inter-school workshops, they discovered new ways of doing things to improve the children's learning experience. Organizing compulsory monthly compositions differently, for example.
Resource development and knowledge sharing
IIEP-UNESCO Dakar shares the knowledge acquired throughout the project and develops tools, events and resources for a wide community of practitioners, researchers and education experts.
Organized by IIEP-UNESCO Dakar at the end of 2020, a first regional workshop on the importance of education quality management brought together some 30 members of the national programme teams and around 150 participants over four days. It was held as an online webinar. The programme aims to organize a regional event of this nature each year in early December.
The IIEP-UNESCO Dakar Office for Africa is organising its 2nd regional workshop on education quality management in Africa from 21st to 25th February 2022. The workshop is dedicated to sharing the first results of the programme.
More about the regional workshop 2022 (in French)
Methodological guide and tools
Following the initial feedback from the programme, the IIEP-UNESCO Dakar has produced a methodological guide. It describes in detail the approach aimed at establishing a culture of questioning practices in education systems.
This comprehensive guide is aimed at middle and senior managers in countries who wish to undertake an analysis of education quality management practices at the level of:
- the central administration,
- the decentralised administration,
- schools and their communities.
The guide is complemented by a collection of methodological tools, available in French:
Volume 1 - Les outils de la collecte de données au niveau des établissements scolaires
Volume 2 - Les outils de la collecte de données au niveau des services déconcentrés
Volume 3 - Les outils de la collecte de données au niveau des services centraux et de l’élaboration du rapport de recherche
An assessment of management practices for education quality is carried out for each country in the programme, together with the national action research teams. Find the national reports online.
Newsletters: feedback from stakeholders
Throughout the implementation of the programme, find the testimonies of the national teams and focal points in a series of thematic newsletters.
Focus Letter spécial n°1 – October 2020, in French
Impact du programme sur les gestes professionnels des agents nationaux
Focus Letter spécial n°2 – November 2020, in French
Impact du programme sur le management des agents nationaux
Focus Letter spécial n°3 – December 2020, in French
Le développement du praticien réflexif
To ensure the continuity of the programme's achievements and to strengthen the capacities of national managers, two training programmes are being developed. They will be available in 2022:
- An online course on education quality management, designed by IIEP-UNESCO Dakar for a wide audience of professionals in educational planning and management
- A training module on education quality management intended for national institutions that already train future managerial staff: directors, pedagogical advisors, inspectors, managers at central and decentralised levels. This module is intended to be integrated into a pre-existing pedagogical model.
Programme Manager / Senior Expert in Quality Management