Within the scope of the IIEP-Pôle de Dakar program offering assistance in quality management for basic education, four national research teams – from Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Niger and Senegal – analyzed education quality management practices in their respective countries.
The studies were conducted in 2019 and lasted for more than six months. They have identified promising areas for the improvement of quality management through concrete actions specific to each country.
Promoting the success of each student
One such area concerns the approach taken for students with difficulties, which needs to be more adapted. In the four participating countries, the political ambition of guaranteeing quality education for all is clearly inscribed in sector policies.
There are many initiatives for ensuring a more equitable distribution of learning outcomes, including remedial education and homework assistance. Yet the conditions for their efficacy are apparently far from being fulfilled.
First, there is a clear imbalance between pedagogical strategies and the resources allocated for their implementation. Second, the system of support and guidance for teachers remains focused on the verification of formal aspects, rather than the real needs of students and teaching staff.
The investigation conducted in the four countries suggests that new strategies need to be considered, beginning with a better understanding of existing capacities and the pursuit of gradual, adapted, and sustained transformation of pedagogical practices.
Those in the field – teachers, trainers, and inspectorates – must work collaboratively to devise new kinds of pedagogical organization that better account for the diverse needs of students.
These new practices that need to be developed may be built on existing elements, such as group activities around giant blackboards, which brilliantly illustrate students’ capacities for autonomous work.
By moving from mostly lecture-based instruction – which is, in any case, problematic when classes are overflowing and teachers lack sufficient training – to classroom instruction that relies on techniques of mutual teaching (solo work combined with tutoring in small groups), learning methods may be gradually changed in accordance with local contexts.