UNESCO Supports Niger’s Teacher Policy Formulation Process
In June 2018, the Government of Niger will launch its teacher policy formulation process as part of UNESCO's CapED program, funded by Sweden, Finland and Norway.
Like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Niger faces the major challenge of increasing the number of teachers and improving their professional skills in order to meet the increasing demand for education of school-age children.
Over the past two years, gross enrolment rates in primary and secondary education have increased from 76.2% to 77.8% and from 34.2% to 34.4%, respectively (2018 review of the PSEF). There has also been progress in the completion rate at both levels. It has improved from 78.4% to 80.4% and from 18.8% to 20.3%, respectively (2018 review of the PSEF). Despite these achievements, 91.5% of students do not reach the minimum reading threshold at the end of primary schooling and 31.7% do not demonstrate the most basic skills measured by the language of instruction, according to PASEC 2014.
The major role of teachers and teaching for effective learning at all levels of education has been acknowledged in the Education 2030 Framework for Action, and is thus a priority in the Education and Training Sector Program of Niger (PSEF) 2014-2024. Sustainable Development Goal 4 includes a target to ensure that "teachers and educators have the means to act, are adequately recruited, have adequate training and professional qualifications, and are motivated and supported in systems which are efficiently and effectively managed and equipped with sufficient resources.”
In order to increase the supply of teachers in a sustainable way within the Niger education system, it is crucial to design and implement a teaching policy that is based on reliable data and developed with the participation of all stakeholders.
In this perspective, UNESCO will support the Government of Niger through the Ministries of Primary Education and Secondary Education in the elaboration of a coherent and holistic teacher policy for primary and secondary schools. This will include all dimensions of teacher issues, namely: recruitment, initial teacher training and continuous professional development, deployment and allocations, the economic and social status of the teacher, working conditions, the awareness of the profession and vocation, remuneration, performance in teaching / learning and school governance.
The CapED program in Niger will build on the policy formulation tools developed by UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) as well as the results of the current report of the state of the Niger Education System (RESEN), developed by Pôle de Dakar of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP).
The following steps will be carried out with technical support and supervision of UNESCO- IICBA:
1) Establishment of the national team with all Ministers involved in order to advance the process. This participatory approach will ensure national ownership, consensus, and success in the subsequent implementation of the teacher policy;
2) Capacity building of national team members;
3) Diagnostic study conducted by members of the national team;
4) Formulation and validation of the teaching policy that will bring together representatives of state structures, civil society, technical and financial partners, parents, and teacher unions, etc.