As a result of a recent report, basic education in Senegal, including reading, writing, and arithmetic, is receiving increased attention. The Ministry of National Education and the Consortium for Economic and Social Research collaborated with the Global Education Monitor (GEM) Report and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) to complete this study (CRES). One of three reports produced in conjunction with the African Union, Born to learn focuses on literacy and numeracy across the continent of Africa. The Spotlight on Basic Education Completion and Foundational Learning in Senegal is one of five country reports that contribute to this report. There was consistency in the research’s use of established research questions, methodology, and analysis.
Since 2015, the gross enrolment rate in primary education has remained at just above 80%, highlighting a problem with access to education. VIEW presents the results of an estimation model that compiles data from multiple surveys, and their findings show that 51% of children now graduate from primary school “on time” (i.e., by age 15), a significant increase from the 18% who did so two decades ago. Only about six out of every ten kids make it through elementary school. This information, however, also suggests that development has slowed down in recent years. Graduation from primary school on time and overall in Senegal
Senegal has been an active participant in international assessments of student learning, despite the fact that these results are not always easily interpreted. In 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics organised the Monitoring Impacts on Learning Outcomes (MILO) assessment in six sub-Saharan African countries with financial support from the Global Partnership for Education and technical support from the Australian Council for Educational Research. CONFEMEN oversaw the PASEC regional assessment in the four francophone countries, one of which was Senegal. At the end of elementary school, 34% of students had achieved the minimum proficiency level in mathematics, and 13% had accomplished the same in French. Both findings jived with the examination of 2019 PASEC data.
Rate of primary school graduates in Senegal and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa who are proficient in reading and mathematics in 2021. Small-scale fieldwork visited 22 schools for the report; of those, one-third were located in rural areas. Classes in grades 1-3 were observed, and a qualitative survey was given to 315 people with a stake in basic education. Academy inspectors, regional education training staff, education and training inspectors, and school head teachers were interviewed, as were city administrators. With the help of focus groups, we were able to organize discussions with educators and local residents.
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Field research revealed vast discrepancies in the ways that various education and training agencies responded to questions (IEFs). It discovered that schools with relatively high levels of success had smaller class sizes, better resources for teaching, did not use a second shift or temporary shelters, and had teachers with more experience and competence in the classroom. Given these findings, it is clear that there is a pressing need to improve teachers’ abilities in order to raise students’ achievement.
In the report, we see two examples of success stories that Senegal can share with its counterparts. To begin with, it has established efficient bridge courses or alternative educational programs. These give kids who may have missed out on school because they had to leave early a chance to catch up and fulfil their potential academically. Regional Schooling Acceleration Plans have been developed by the Ministry of National Education. Academy and education and training inspectorates, local authorities, and civil society organizations working at the local level all work together to implement bridge classes.
Second, Senegal has implemented corrective actions built into the pedagogical process in the form of remedial lessons, which aim to assist students in overcoming challenges and avoiding the accumulation of such obstacles that could compromise future education. In general, students and teachers can expect to receive feedback on their level of mastery at the conclusion of each learning task where remedial education was implemented. According to a survey for the World Bank’s 2021 Service Delivery Indicator, an overwhelming majority (82%) of schools offered some form of supplementary instruction. Public schools (at 85%) are more common than private schools (68%), which explains why this percentage is lower in urban areas. The Senegal Spotlight report, released alongside the #BorntoLearn campaign backed by the Ministry of National Education, provides a diagnosis of the current state of basic education in the country and identifies policy solutions crucial to improving education outcomes for all students. These solutions are worth discussing with other countries that are facing similar challenges.