Aboubacar Sogodogo, Basic Education Assistant
October 14, 2013
Thanks to sponsor generosity, our programs support more than 50,000 children and work with 996 teachers in 264 schools in Sikasso and Yorosso districts. Like elsewhere in the country, lack of qualification and an insufficient number of teachers are two of the many issues that plague the education system in these districts. The most apparent reason for the teacher shortage is the structural adjustment the government went through in the 1990s when the Ministry of Education had to lay off hordes of experienced teachers through early retirement and shut down all the teacher training institutions.
Category 1: Teachers who have a contract with the government through the Ministry of Education. The government used to be the biggest teacher employer, but has now reduced its recruitment of teachers, preferring to leave this responsibility to elected entities or municipalities.
Category 2: Teachers who are employed and paid by elected entities. Under the Malian decentralization law, municipalities are responsible for running and supporting some key social services such as health and education in their areas.
Category 3: Given the chronic shortage of teachers and the inability of both government and municipalities to recruit adequately, some communities hire and pay their own teachers with technical support from the ministry of education.
Teachers in all three groups are either certified by official teaching institutes or received crash, pre-service training before being sent into the education system. Currently, more than 70% of the teaching force in our sponsorship schools is made up of teachers from categories 1 and 2. However, for job security, the government remains a preferred employer for most teachers; it’s viewed as a permanent and regular salary payer.
Whatever the employer, the ministry of education remains the government arm responsible for policy guidance and direction on all education matters. It’s also responsible for what teachers teach and how they teach it.
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