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Designing pedagogical and training materials to improve early reading outcomes in Burkina Faso

(08-09-15)

The UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) and the Ministry of Education of Burkina Faso will co-lead a special meeting geared towards the enhancement of early reading education from 9 to 11 September, in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). This event is part of a three-year project sponsored by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) “Learning outcomes in reading in early grades: integration of curriculum, teaching, learning materials and assessment” which is simultaneously conducted in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Niger.

 

This third and the last workshop in a series held in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) is to lead to the production of three tailored curricular documents, as part of a National Plan of Action to improve learning outcomes in reading across the country. The materials have been elaborated by an IBE-supported team of Burkinabe experts and are now undergoing revision. These include a guide and a toolkit, both aimed at enhancing the quality of reading and writing instruction in the first three years of primary school, as well as a teacher training module updated to add the new orientations on teaching to read and write. The 9-11 September meeting will be attended by the writing committee members in charge of the production process, i.e., all experts from the Ministry of Basic Education and Literacy (MENA) of Burkina Faso; reading specialists from the University of Koudougou (Burkina Faso) and the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

 

Participants will build on the content and results of the two previous workshops that took place in January and May 2015 in Bobo Dioulasso and Koudougou, respectively. The first workshop allowed reaching a consensus on the areas to be targeted and changes to be considered for an optimal improvement of reading and writing outcomes in the national education system. Additionally, participants defined the contents of each document, and decided on the creation of a writing committee whose members would be responsible for producing all three materials. The second meeting focused on revising preliminary versions of the pedagogical guide and the toolkit supporting reading and writing instruction, during which an analysis of the existing teacher training module in didactics of the French language was also conducted. Group-based collaborative work permitted refining the respective contents of the guide and the toolkit, and facilitated an agreement on inclusion of a reading- and writing-focused component in the training module as part of processes to ensure more effective curriculum alignment.

 

IBE committed to remotely support the content elaboration efforts of the Burkinabe writing committee that would be presented in a final workshop organized to gain general consensus and national validation. The date of this workshop is yet to be defined. Therefore, the special meeting held from 9-11 September in Ouagadougou is meant to provide the national writing committee with additional direct support. A reading specialist mandated by the IBE will contribute to the Burkinabe team members’ efforts facilitating the preparation of all three critical documents prior to the production of the final documents. The IBE’s intervention is planned to be through on-site technical assistance as well as a follow-up collaboration to validate the materials. The Ministry of Education of Burkina Faso will supervise the final revision of the guide, the toolkit, and the training module, and will ensure capacity building among local education system stakeholders that will use the final material. All three documents will be pilot-tested as part of the new curriculum reform that will be launched in October 2015 and during the school year 2015-2016.