Let us take advantage of World Teacher’s Day this 5th of October to highlight their essential roles. In fact, no matter the country, the beautiful buildings and the textbooks are not sufficient enough to ensure the participation, growth, and academic success of children. Planète Enfants & Développement focuses its attention particularly on the training of educators with practice and with tools adapted to the age of the students. Example of a beautiful collaboration in Burkina Faso, with the State, the teachers and the children in kindergarten.

Une enseignante en maternelle et ses élèves au Burkina FasoThese past months, we worked directly with Burkinabé institutions responsible for the initial training of kindergarten teachers: INFTS (National Institute of Formation in Social Work) and the Ministry of National Education, Literacy, and Promotion of National Languages (MENA/PLN). Our common goal: to improve the quality of preschool education in Burkina Faso, nationwide, by teacher training and the provision of innovative educational materials.

Our challenge is twofold: to reach students who are preparing to become primary school teachers and all of those who are already in post. Therefore, we adopted a “cascading” approach. We trained twenty teachers of INFTS who prepare the students, six trainers from MENA/PLN, and fourteen regional trainers who will train, at their turn, some 700 teachers who practice within the country.

Also, we have built and equipped the Awareness and Preschool Education Center (CEEP), where the kindergarten teachers in training in Gaoua can implement practice what they have learned with children.

Pedagogical support resources, developed through consultation with 33 educators, a scientific committee, and the Burkinabé Ministry of National Education, are, from now on, shared and available on a collaborative digital platform: BOP, The PreschoolToolbox (la Boîte à Outils du Préscolaire www.bop.bf). The trainers of INFTS have themselves benefited from the training on these materials to harmonize educational practices.

The start of the school year was effective last week within a context of security concerns in Burkina Faso. Terrorist attacks are gaining ground and threatening the schooling of children: “More than a hundred schools are occupied by displaced population and more than two thousand are closed, preventing thousands of children from going to class,” indicates Gilbert Dah, Early Childhood manager of PE&D in Burkina Faso. Attention given to the quality of education and the involvement of trained teachers are more than ever necessary to face the violence and allow the children to “grow up in a better world.”

October 2019