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Programme de bourses "Jeunes Chercheurs"
Educational pathways, professional integration and inequalities:
Since the 1990s, in Mali as in several Sub-Saharan countries, access to primary education has increased significantly. The growth of enrolment rate in primary education is partly due to the rise of a non-state educational provision. Indeed, despite increasing public expenditure in primary education, non-state providers – municipalities, communities, NGOs, cooperation agencies and for profit organisation – are more and more active in the field of education, both formal and non-formal. Even if the state remains the main provider of education, 37.8% of the students in formal primary education attended non-state education in 2007.
This research project seeks to analyse the diversification of educational provision in terms of inequalities. Its main objective is to study the links between the learning conditions, the educational pathways of young people and their professional integration. The research also explores representations of justice in education.
The methodology used in this research in mainly qualitative. Qualitative evidence was collected in 2007 and 2008 in the district of Bankass, which is located at approximately 700 km east of Bamako, the capital of Mali. 38 semi-structured interviews were made with local stakeholders such as teachers, mayors, NGOs and counsellors of the Centre for Pedagogical Animation (Centre d’animation pédagogique – CAP), which is the governmental representation at the district level. In addition, 72 semi-structured interviews were made with male and female students enrolled both in formal and non-formal education, focusing on their educational pathways and their economic activities. Local and national secondary source statistical data was also analysed.
The research shows that the diversification of the education supply contributes to increasing access to education, but at the same time contributes to exacerbate disparities in terms of learning conditions. Indeed, the components of educational provision differ in terms of teachers’ training, follow-up and salaries, infrastructure, textbooks available, language used for teaching and recruitment. This research also demonstrates that these disparities in terms of learning conditions induce important disparities in terms of the skills acquired by the students, according to which educational structure they go to. These disparities are perceived as unfair by the interviewees.
Concerning professional integration, the research reveals that young people, aged from 4 to 15, are the main source of workforce of the rural economy. Neither formal nor non formal schooling have effect on the scope of economic activities carried out by young people. However, the skills provided by these schools, combined with those acquired through informal learning, improve the ways these activities are being accomplished.
Réseau Ouest et Centre Africain de Recherche en Education (ROCARE)