Children learn best in their mother tongue

Photo of the week

Three students in Niger share a textbook during class. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

Three students in Niger share a textbook during class.

CREDIT: GPE/Kelley Lynch

These three students in Niger share a textbook during class. Their government, with support from a US$88.4 million grant from GPE together with support by the Swiss Cooperation and AFD, is piloting mother language education. Niger has developed textbooks and teacher guides in three local languages (Buduma, Gulmancema and Tubu) for grades 1, 2 and 3, as well as guidelines in local languages for preschool teachers.

Because the program is moving swiftly, Niger has been expanding the pilot from 500 schools to 5,000 for the 2017-2018 school year.

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This week on the blog, we’ve also shared how other African countries are tackling the mother language issue, with many countries introducing and transitioning to their official language after a couple of years of teaching in mother tongue. Rémy Habou discusses why this is not the right approach, and what is needed to make mother tongue education successful in Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Niger


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including...

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