Basic education for children

Project description

Title: Basic Education Programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Niger
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning
Overall term: 2018 to 2020

Context

Since 2000, Niger has made notable progress with the enrolment rate for primary school. Despite this, it is among the countries in which access to and quality of education score very poorly by global comparison. The number of children attending primary school depends on the region; girls are disadvantaged everywhere. The pressure on the education system is continually increasing as a result of high population growth, which is currently at almost four per cent. Decentralisation in the fields of education, health, water supply and environment has transferred more responsibility for educational administration to regional and municipal level. This enables education planning and human resources management to be more needs-oriented, and improves monitoring. However, the conditions for proper education planning are inadequate at all levels of the education system, particularly regarding girls’ participation in lessons in primary schools.

Objective

The Niger education system has better conditions for proper education planning, particularly with regard to girls’ participation in lessons in primary schools.

Approach

The programme focuses on the nine municipalities in the Tillabéri region and advises state institutions in Niamey. Advisory activities address education planning at municipal, regional and national level, and are closely interlinked. At municipal level, the programme strengthens the skills of educational actors in data collection and education monitoring, with emphasis on girls’ participation in education. The programme also supports the development of school district maps, which provide information such as the number of schools, classes and future needs. Based on this improved availability of data, the programme advises government and other educational actors, such as those in the regional authority responsible for basic education, on preparing a regional education programme. It also focuses on girls’ participation in education. At national level, the programme supports the further development of standards for education planning, based on educational data collected from municipalities and regions. The consortium, ECO Consulting Group – GOPA, provides advice in this area of activity.

Results

Awareness-raising measures, training courses and dialogue have successfully strengthened the skills of 1,284 educational actors in the municipalities.

School district maps have been drawn up for the participating municipalities, enabling appropriate education planning based on the data collected.

Educational actors from 18 pilot schools have also developed a monitoring system for schools. The system makes it possible to track students staying in school, to identify reasons for dropping out of school and to directly support affected students and their teachers.

At regional level, the project conducted training courses on education planning, which made it possible to evaluate all important data on primary schools in Tillabéry. An action plan for Tillabéry was also developed. Participants in this process gained relevant skills in education planning, which strengthens the overall regional administration of the schools.

The project has also had positive effects at national level: It supported the responsible technical working group in revising the manual on standards for education planning and in developing new standards for the Ministry of Primary Education.

Simulations were conducted to test the feasibility and sustainability of the proposed new education planning standards. As a result, the financial implications of certain standards were identified. This information makes it possible for the Ministry of Primary Education and key national actors to improve planning.

Overall, the project activities strengthen the skills of the educational actors involved, which enables appropriate education planning in Niger at municipal, regional and national levels and has a positive impact on education for girls.