Quality Educators for All in Mali

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The Quality Educators for All project in Mali is a joint project between Oxfam Novib and Education International at the international level, and civil society (Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Education for All), the Malian teachers' union SNEC, and the Malian government (Ministry of Education and Literacy) at the national level. The aim of the project is to improve the education system while focusing on teacher competences, as they are important change agents in the lives of children and youth. In Mali there is a special focus on community school teachers. The Quality Educators for All project contributes to quality public education by assisting public authorities in meeting their responsibility to equip schools with well-trained educators, through the use of various methodologies for teacher training and development. This case study provides an overview of the project. The project is financed by Comic Relief and implemented mainly in the Ségou region of Mali. 
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  OXFAM NOVIB CASE STUDY www.oxfamnovib.nl   QUALITY EDUCATORS FOR ALL IN MALI The Quality Educators for All project in Mali is a joint force between Oxfam Novib and Edu-cation International on international level and civil society (Coalition of Civil Society Organi-zations for Education for All), Teacher Union (SNEC) and government (Ministry of Education and Literacy) on national level, to improve the education system while focusing on teacher competences because they are important change agents in lives of children and youth. In Mali we have a special focus on community school teachers. Through the Quality Educators for All project contributes to quality public education by assisting public authorities in meet-ing their responsibility to equip schools with well-trained educators, through the use of vari-ous methodologies for teacher training and development. This case looks into details on the project financed by Comic Relief and executed mainly in the Ségou region. This Case Study was a background briefing for Oxfam Novib’s 2013 Annual Review, pr  e-pared in partnership with the Coalition des Organisations de la Société Civile pour l’Education pour Tous (COSC EPT) , and describes the programme in Mali. Although it is not a formal evaluation it does consider lessons learned by both Oxfam Novib and its part-ner organisations. These Case Studies are shared in the form in which they were submitted, often written by partners whose first language is not English, and have not been edited since submission. We believe that the meaning is clear enough, and the authenticity of the reporting and the availability of Southern Voices on development makes their inclusion in the Oxfam iLibrary worthwhile for sharing with external readers. Programme Partner: Coalition des Organisations de la Société Civile pour l’Education pour Tous  (COSC EPT)  2  AIM OF THE PROJECT The Quality ED project (Quality Educators for All project) will increase the numbers of qualified community school teachers, aligned with the competence profile and the government’s educational reform. There will be specific attention to qualifying female teachers, ensuring 20% involvement of women in recruitment for training compared to an overall rate of 10% of female teachers in rural ar-eas. The aim of qualifying community teachers is first to have impact on students results and sec-ondly to have them accepted in the public education system to give them to a descent work condi-tions and a salary. CONTEXT Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world and its educational indicators are similarly among the poorest. These two facts, poverty and inadequate education, are intimately linked. Similarly, there is a close relationship between the lack of female education and the marked gender discrep-ancies found across a range of indicators  –  literacy, mortality, and employment to name just a few. Education is kn own as an ‘enabling right’ because without education, other fundamental rights ca n-not be realized.  Around 60% of education in Mali is provided by the state (public education). The remainder is pri-mar  ily ‘non - formal’ provisions funded by communities, exter  nal donors or faith-based: community schools (18%), medersas (religious schools, 12%), or private schools (10%). The vast majority of teachers working outside of the public system are not qualified and many are not trained. Across the profession, the average length of training per teacher is five days. There are many well-known reasons for the poor quality of education in Mali but in the final analysis, there is near universal agreement about the most decisive factor that is undermining educational quality: there are not enough well-trained teachers 1 .  After having done some baseline research for Quality Educators for All, and the interesting commu-nity school environment, the history on education activities in Mali, Quality Ed decided in 2011 to pilot the project in two countries and one of them was Mali. A pilot in Mali was considered feasible taking into account cooperation among actors, relevance and the availability of partners for ONL and Education International (EI) 2   to work with. It also reinforced Oxfam International’s priority to focus part of its advocacy agenda on education in Mali, (see Oxfam International report of 2009 ‘Delivering Education for All in Mali’). For this case we look in details on the project fin anced by Comic Relief and executed mainly in Ségou region. The main actors on national level are organized in a steering committee: COSC EPT, which is the  Association of Civil Society for the Education for All, SNEC which is the National Teacher and Cul-tural Union in Mali and the ministry of Basic Education and Literacy. On regional and school level Teacher training institutes, education academies and teachers of com-munity school are the main actors. Oxfam Novib has direct relations with COSC EPT and the Steering Committee. But only with COSC EPT there is a contractual relation combined with financial support. METHODOLOGY The change  being sought in Mali is formulated in two hypotheses that will be tested during the course of the project. These hypotheses will also orient the monitoring and evaluation system. In the short term : Introducing a competence framework for teacher education and professional de-velopment will create career pathways for community teachers at different stages of their career to become qualified, certified and formalized in public sector employment. And in the longer term : Strengthening competences of primary school teachers will improve learn-ing outcomes and on-time school completion rates among primary school children.   3 To come to these changes the project, by 2015: 1. Will integrate innovations from non-formal education i.e. la pédagogie convergente in the in-service teacher training programs. 2. Want to have all community school teachers in Ségou been trained to fulfill the standards set in the competence profile. 3. Wants to achieve that 50% of community school teachers in Ségou have the same legal status as public teachers. 4. And fourthly, would like children in community schools in Ségou show a 20% increase in on-time school completion compared to the benchmark. Under the four outcomes the following activities were done till the end of December 2013. 1. Will integrate innovations from non-formal education i.e. la pédagogie convergente in the in-service teacher training programs.  Alignment of in-service training curriculum at FCM and CAP with CP and other innovations. Develop materials for use in in-service training. 2. Want to have all community school teachers in Ségou been trained to fulfill the standards set in the competence profile. Training of 30 trainers ( of which 3 women) to form pool of trainers In-service training of 3000 teachers and 1200 were women. 3. Wants to achieve that 50% of community school teachers in Ségou have the same legal status as public teachers.  Advocacy activities during Global Action Week and labour negotiations. Plan for and implement annual communication strategies directed to first circle of government actors with a role to play in formalizing teachers. Mobilization of public support, through radio and TV programs, for community teachers by highlighting their contribution to policy priorities i.e. access to education, quality of education, integration of ECOM schools into public system. 4. And fourthly, would like children in community schools in Ségou show a 20% increase in on-time school completion compared to the benchmark. There is proven that there is too little application of competences by teachers in the class-room. Consistent monitoring of teachers and students in the classroom. There is backstopping of teachers and students where needed, but should be improved in coming year. Besides the aims and there activities, the collaboration between the ministry of Education, the Teacher Union and Civil Society is a fundamental strength of the project. Because all products de-veloped during the projects are developed together and owned by the government it is easier to build on that during advocacy process of improving the national education system. Most Significant Change- Participatory Video To improve the monitoring and also to build the capacities of partners to be better informed and bet-ter follow up their activities, the methodology of the Most Significant Change Participatory Video (MSC-PV) was introduced in 2013. The first training of COSC-EPT and teachers took place in March 2014. A first internal evaluation shows that the MSC PV methodology helps discover the gaps in results (and/or framework) by finding new results and/or indicators by the changes that are reported by beneficiaries. For this reason it is expected when participants will continue with this process they will definitely find new/improved results/indicators for the framework and actually have the possibility to create a more effective monitoring instrument for the programme.  4  Another learning of the first training is simply the improvement in their ability to analyse answers and ask questions, which is the essential skill for any monitoring & evaluation practice. It is probably one of the best methodologies to 'teach' this. The Participatory videos can been find on http://www.oxfamnovib.nl/Quality-teaching-benefits-generations-to-come.html, under read more. Governance of the project The leadership and management of the Quality-ED project in Mali is shared between ONL and Edu-cation International (EI). There is a division of labour worked out between them but even where one agency takes the lead on a given task, the other is always consulted and gives input. Project outputs are brought out under a project banner that consistently includes logos from EI and ONL and any other relevant parties. There is a Project Leader in place at each organisation. The Project Leader at ONL is responsible for contractual reporting and accounting to donors. There is a team of people within ONL who contribute to this role including financial staff, programme o fficer and financial staff at ONL’s office in Mali and administrative support at headquarters. RESULTS The project was monitored after 12 months. The monitoring report has a special focus on the 3 hy-potheses to measure the results or impact so far. The analysis showed that teachers who have attended training as part of the project are more quali-fied than those who received no training. The quality of training received was measured based on 4 independent variables relating to teaching practices, namely 1) the quality of worksheets 2) the quali-ty of lesson delivery by teachers 3) the quality of educational use of teaching materials by teachers in the classroom 4) the quality of assessments of pupil learning by teachers. The second hypothesis is about the training organised by the project having an impact on public sec-tor recruitment rates among community school teachers. In other words are teachers that are trained by consequence accepted in the public system? This assumption is not confirmed by the results of the monitoring research which can be explained by two reasons. The first is that the result should be put in perspective since only a minority of teachers in the sample (15/40) received training as part of the project. In future, a monitoring should increase the number of teachers in the study sample who have received training as part of the project with a view to more effective evaluation of the impact of training on qualification and public sector appointment rates. These circumstances may also be ex-plained by the situation in the country, particularly the political situation with a Coup d'Etat and con-flict in the north. Aside from educating displaced children, education has not been a government pri-ority. In view of the above results, we should point out that the third research assumption which states that teachers' attendance of training organised by the project should have an impact on the teaching and learning process, has only been partially confirmed, that is, only in terms of the quality of worksheets and lesson delivery. In terms of the quality of educational use made of teaching materials and the quality of assessments of pupil learning, the third assumption has not been confirmed. Therefore greater emphasis should be placed on teachers' use of teaching materials and assessments of learning in future training modules. Moreover, the observations in the field have shown that teaching materials are in short supply and faulty. In the field, we also noted that most teachers are not profi-cient in the basic educational principles and methods of the skill-based curricular approach.   Similarly, few teachers were able to complete portfolios and few pupils were even able to write their first name and surname on evaluation sheets. To improve the monitoring of the project and have more evidence based material for monitoring but also for advocacy, there will be Most Significant Change and Participatory Videos. These videos will visualize the change projects makes in participants’ lives. The trajectory will end by  June 2014 and
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