Focus on education in Senegal

Focus on education in Senegal

Focus — Friday, February 02, 2018

Education is an objective of prime importance, and one central to the political vision of Macky Sall, President of the Republic. In a demographic setting in which the under-20 generation accounts for 55% of our population, Senegal has the responsibility to institute an effective educational systme. It is the will of the President of the Republic that everyone be allowed to go to school -- to a school of success, to a viable, stable school to which peace has been restored, which promotes quality in order to make Senegal an emerging country.

Steadily investing to improve facilities and infrastructures

Between 2012 and 2016, in addition to the regeneration programmes, the Government invested around FCFA 132.6 billion to build and equip 9,538 classrooms, 333 elementary schools, 162 neighbourhood junior high schools, 21 high schools, 20 scientific and technological units and 12 modern daaras.

Multiple initiatives have also been engaged to correct the disparities between regions, by building and equipping 200 new elementary schools in the 25 departments with the lowest school enrolment rates in our country and building 49 turnkey junior high schools in the border zones.

More concretely, 8.2 million textbooks and workbooks on French, mathematics, science and social studies were provided free of charge to elementary school pupils, representing an expense of FCFA 10 billion to the government, an unprecedented effort in our country.

In addition to this come digital tools, made available in mathematics, the physical sciences and philosophy for the final year classes at 240 high schools, as well as school projects in mathematics and science set up at 300 junior high schools, and an increase in the number of hours dedicated weekly to mathematics, physical sciences, and life and earth sciences.

Concrete initiatives in favour of teaching personnel

The programmes implemented in recent years have enabled significant progress toward the development objectives set for our education system. Significant efforts have been made by the State in the field of infrastructures and satisfying teachers’ claims. The school system is the Nation’s greatest enterprise. It employs over 90,000 civil servants and is used by over 3 million learners. It alone takes up 40 % of the State's budget.

From 2012 to 2016, teaching personnel in the public sector increased by an additional 7,481. Specific measures have also been taken to improve initial training, raise the academic standards amongst those hired and develop continuing training.

Supporting and guiding university students

Since 2013, the State has been engaged in a dynamic reform of its higher education system for future researchers. This reform, which embodies the vision of the President of the Republic, in accordance with the strategic aims of the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE), aims to “make higher education and research a lever for Senegal’s economic, social and cultural development”. It is the outcome of a participatory and inclusive process.

A new Sector General Policy Letter has been issued and now serves as the foundation for the creation of our Programme to Improve Quality, Equity and Transparency (PAQUET) for the period from 2013-2025. Since 2013, the Ministry of Education has rolled out its platform www.campusen.en, on which all Baccalaureate-holders can receive guidance, based on merit, either toward public university education or toward private higher-learning institutions. More than 40,000 Baccalaureate-holders have entered Licence programmes in private higher-learning institutions between 2013 and 2017 thanks to this guidance, in degree programmes accredited by CAMES or ANAQ-SUP, with full State support for a period of three years.

Promoting research and innovation streams is at the heart of the student orientation strategy. As the Head of State explained at the Next Einstein Forum in 2016, "The economic and social development of any nation requires instituting an efficient scientific and technological research and innovation system. It is thus our duty to enter and remain in the society of intelligence, information, knowledge and technological mastery. Toward that end, I believe it is essential to develop science, technology and innovation by all means at our disposal and to include all players at all levels. Our aspiration is to make Senegal into an emerging country, using science, technology and innovation as our levers.

A powerful vision for the future of the educational sector

Improving the living and working conditions of both students and teaching personnel is a central concern for the Head of State, at the heart of the sector's reforms, enshrined in the Emerging Senegal Plan.

By 2019, over FCFA 221.4 billion in additional resources will be granted by the State to increase capacity in our learning institutions, expand the system's geographic reach and improve working and learning conditions. This investments will be used to build 6,369 classrooms and 4,729 administrative units, and 2,498 sanitary units, under the National Programme for the Resorption of Temporary Shelters in General Elementary, Middle and Secondary Learning Institutions, which the Head of State has just initiated. It will also make it possible to build and equip 99 new elementary schools, 45 new junior high schools, 14 new high schools, as well as recondition and equip 263 elementary schools, 97 junior high schools and 6 secondary schools and dependent structures (watering places, sanitary units, administrative units, etc.).

The Government has started construction on 6 general high schools, in Grand Yoff, Ngor, Yoff, Sangalkam, Tivaouane Peulh and Pikine Dagoudane, as well as on the renewal of high schools in the Dakar Region.

The progress of execution on the FCFA 10.3 billion daaras modernization support project is very satisfactory. All 64 daaras targeted will be delivered between February and October 2018.