Language of instruction, scripted lessons and accelerated learning in the Central African Republic

Author(s): Couralet, Pierre-Emmanuel

Organisation(s): Global Education Monitoring Report Team

Publisher(s): UNESCO

Date: 2022

Pages: 17 p.

Serie: Background paper prepared for the Global Education Monitoring Report 2022 spotlight on basic education completion and foundational learning in Africa


Three pedagogical innovations adopted in the Education Sector Plan (ESP) 2020-2029 are presented in this case study; they are inexpensive and have the potential to significantly improve the quality of and access to foundational learning in the Central African Republic (CAR) and make the school system more resilient. The period of precarious stability in the CAR in 2019-2020 was a window of opportunity to initiate efforts to rebuild the Central African education system and make it more resilient. Specifically, it seemed appropriate to initiate pedagogical innovations that could, according to research evidence, significantly improve foundational learning despite a dire initial situation and the lack of financial and human resources. The three most important of these are presented in the case study: the introduction of the CAR’s vernacular language, Sango, as a language of instruction in early grades of primary education; the promotion of explicit teaching methods and the development of scripted lessons; the extension of an Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) to provide foundational learning to out-of -school children and allows them to re-enter the formal system. These pedagogical innovations are complementary to each other; they are all part of the strategy of the ESP 2020-2029 to improve quality of and access to foundational learning. They need to be coordinated so that their combination has maximum positive effects. The introduction of Sango as a teaching language should not only improve the foundational learning of students in the formal primary cycle, but also facilitate the catching up by older children who will benefit from an ALP (the latter's curriculum should soon also use Sango). The quality of teaching of both the poorly qualified primary school teachers (63% of them are community teachers) and ALP’s teachers will be improved both by using a vernacular language with students and by the adoption of more structured and more systematic teaching methods. Finally, these three measures should help make CAR's fragile school system more resilient: scripted lessons allow for the training and rapid deployment of teachers in areas where it is not possible to assign regular teachers; the ALP program reintegrates out-of -school children into the school system; Sango, as a language of instruction, is expected to contribute to the resilience of the education system by promoting social cohesion and facilitating the continuity of education in emergency situations (educational radio broadcasts in Sango).

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