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Observations of reading classes and interviews with education system actors in Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal



In the context of the implementation of the project

Improving reading outcomes in the early years of primary school (2013-2016) , the International Bureau of Education has conducted three field missions in Burkina Faso (9-22/04), Niger (12-21/05), as well as Senegal (23/04-02/05) in collaboration with each of the countries’ ministries of education and the University of Geneva. These missions have made it possible to observe the practices used in the classroom to teach pupils in the first three years of primary how to read in French and local languages, in urban and rural contexts as well as to gather information regarding the use of textbooks and educative materials in the classroom to teach reading, as well as information about the primary teacher training and the one of primary school supervisors. Their objective was to create an opportunity to observe how, on the basis of a qualitative sample, the curriculum is implemented by teachers in the classrooms and how it is perceived and used by the various actors involved directly or indirectly in its implementation. In total, 36 reading lessons were observed and filmed by teams of researchers in different regions of Burkina Faso (Koudougou and Ouagadougou), Niger (Dosso, Maradi and Niamey) and Senegal (Dakar, Kaffrine and Louga). Interviews with directors (34) and teachers (72) were conducted in each of the visited schools as well as some focus groups with teacher trainers and pre-service teachers in most of the regions (6). To inform the final report that will be made available to ministries of education in Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal, all interviews, class observations and focus groups will be analysed by experts in the project with the aim of understanding the challenges of teaching and learning to read in order to identify strategies for the improvement of curriculum alignment. Data and information obtained during these field missions will be analysed by the experts of the project and will allow them to illustrate and complement the

comparative study currently being conducted by the IBE in partnership with a research team from the universities of Geneva, Niamey (Abdou Moumouni), Dakar (Cheikh Anta Diop) and Koudougou. This study reviews international research on the various methods used to teach and learn how to read as well provides an analysis of the curricula currently prescribed in the three countries of the project and implemented in classrooms. The diagnostic report that will be produced will be discussed with the ministries of education of Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal. From 25th to 27th of June, the IBE will host an

experts’ meeting in order to share the initial results of the field and desk studies, and discuss the questions raised by these results.