Niger multiplies the steps for the promised sanitation of its educational sector

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou. Photo: Yahoo Finance

NEWSROOM (ADV) – The Niger government, through its ministries in charge of the various levels of education, has undertaken for a few years a vast operation of sanitation of its educational sector by the multiplication of measures to realize its promise to give back to the Nigerian school and its prestige of yesteryear.

This reform policy first concerned the Primary Education sector, where a study launched early in 2017 by the authorities revealed the catastrophic level, particularly of contract teachers. This situation led the minister responsible, Daouda Mallam Marthe, to organize an evaluation of the level of 60,000 contract teachers out of the 82,000 that counted the country for, according to his words, “to put order in the Nigerian education system”.

Several thousand teachers who had refused to participate in the review had their contracts terminated by decision of the Minister, and about 9,000 others (from union sources) had been dismissed for insufficiency found at the end of the evaluation organized on any the national territory on 16 and 17 July 2017. These measures have been hailed by a segment of the population, but deemed “illegal” by teachers’ unions who still demand their reinstatement.

In addition, following inquiries by the competent services of the ministries of primary and secondary education, the government has closed since mid-December of about sixty establishments of both cycles, mainly because of lack of authorization.

For Mr. Marthe these schools exercising without authorization of creation or opening, thus “having no legal authority, must immediately cease all activity”, while assuring that “the government will take all the measures so that this decision is applied in all its rigor “.

In addition, he recalled the provisions of the law stipulating that “anyone who opens a private educational institution without official authorization shall be liable to imprisonment from 15 days to 3 months and a fine of 50,000 francs CFA ($ 80) to 500,000 CFA francs (about $ 800) “.

Then, the Minister of Higher Education Yahouza Sadissou decided, faced with the creation of all-round private institutions in the country, to suspend any new settlement “to better frame the sector”.

“Today, we have about 140 private higher education institutions in Niger, and the pace of the demands that continue to reach us, by the end of the year we will end up with hundreds of these institutions “, worried Minister Sadissou, speaking last Friday on the second public channel in Niger.

“We realized that there are many imperfections, and we are inundated with new demands for the creation of private higher education institutions,” he added.

Also, he indicated that he decided to stop any new establishment of private higher education institutions in the country to make a balance, pending the finalization of new reforms to govern now private higher education in Niger on which his staff and he himself works hard.

With a very significant contribution (40%) to the overall supply of private higher education in the country, Mr Sadissou said it is high time to reframe this changing sector.

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, in his message to the nation on the occasion of the New Year 2019, hailed the major reforms made in the education sector over the past year, which will improve the quality of education.

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