ADEA supports teachers’ audit in Niger

From 26-30 August, 2013 Mr. Ahlin Byll-Cataria and Mr. Hamidou Boukary travelled to Niger at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Niger to assist, among other things, in providing technical support to a national workshop to shed light on a teacher audit exercise and define its scope of work. The Government of Niger asked the International Task Force on Teachers (ITF/EFA) and ADEA to provide technical assistance in drafting a project document and also support the organization of a validation workshop (funded by ITF/TEFA) in Niamey. ADEA has a longstanding track-record on the phenomenon of contract teachers. In 2004 and 2009, it organized two conferences on this issue and produced two policy guidelines. The first was on recruitment and professional development, and the second was on career management and working and living conditions of contract teachers. ADEA is now rolling out these two guidelines to help African countries to mitigate the danger posed to the quality of African education systems. The occurrence of contract teachers started in the 1990s when African governments began to downsize their civil services to promote structural adjustment programmes. The ensuing freeze on hiring of professional teachers and the closing of teacher training institutions triggered the recourse to contract teachers as a stopgap measure. This practice has continued and is now rampant in many countries due to dire economic constraints. ADEA organized a successful two-day workshop with the help of a contract teacher’s specialist. A finalized project document produced meaningful recommendations and relevant buy-in by all the stakeholders present. Workshop participants were able to define and endorse the objective and scope of work. The technical and funding partners working in Niger (World Bank, AFD, UNICEF, Swiss Cooperation and BMZ -German cooperation) have now decided to provide both technical and financial resources to the Government of Niger for the implementation of the audit. ADEA will have a monitoring and policy dialogue role to play in the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the audit. The Association received an official mandate from the office of the Prime Minister of Niger to support reform efforts across the sub-sectors of education and training systems in the country.