Education International
Education International

Mali: New study reveals serious teacher quality challenges

published 18 October 2011 updated 26 October 2011

More than half of primary school teachers in Mali are without a basic teaching qualification and the competences required to deliver quality education, according to a new study commissioned by EI and Oxfam Novib.

Entitled ‘Reducing barriers for community school teachers to become qualified teachers’, the study conducted by Adama Moussa reveals that more than half of the country’s nearly 40,000 primary school teachers are unqualified. Women constituted a mere 25 per cent of the teaching population, revealing serious disparities in the gender composition of the teaching workforce. This staffing imbalance is likely to hinder the participation of girls in education, thereby creating a vicious circle that could risk perpetuating disadvantage and the marginalisation of women and girls in Mali.

This study has used the national Competence Profile for primary teachers, developed by the Quality Educators for All project partners in Mali, as a benchmark for assessing the professional needs of community teachers. The Quality Educators for All project is a joint initiative between EI and Oxfam Novib. It aims to help governments meet their obligation to provide quality education for all by improving teacher quality through pre- and in-service training and continuing professional development, mainly focusing on unqualified and under qualified teachers in both formal and non-formal education.

The study came to the conclusion that the majority of the community teachers who participated in the study did not meet the quality teacher criteria within the Competence Profile. Most of them lacked sufficient knowledge and skills to deal with subject content, class management and the use effective teaching techniques and methods.

EI’s affiliate in Mali, the National Union of Education and Culture (SNEC), is working with civil society, teacher training institutes, the Ministry of Education, and other stakeholders in the Quality Educators for All project to improve teacher quality. The union and other stakeholders in Mali are determined to continue supporting the professionalisation of community teachers through training and advocacy, supported by a media campaign. The government of Mali has begun to transform some of the community schools into municipal schools, thanks to intensive advocacy by SNEC and the Education for All coalition!

EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen explained: “This project is a practical example of how teacher unions and civil society can collaborate with each other, public authorities and experts to improve education and teacher quality.”

To read the full study, please click here.

You can also find out more about the Quality Educators for All project on:

- EI website

- Oxfam Novib website