From the initial request at the Bucharest Summit to the renewal of IFADEM’s support at the Kinshasa Summit, the history of the initiative is marked by decisions taken by heads of state and government during the francophone summits to actively pursue the Millennium Development Goal.
2000 Dakar. L’Éducation pour tous figure parmi les huit Objectifs du Millénaire adoptés par l’ONU.
2006 Bucarest. L’article 33 de la Déclaration demande à l’OIF et à l’AUF la mise sur pied d’une initiative commune pour accroitre l’offre de programmes et de contenus de formation axés sur les technologies éducatives.
2008 Québec. La Résolution sur la langue française adoptée lors du Sommet appuie IFADEM et sa capacité à renforcer les programmes de formation initiale et continue des enseignants.
2008 Bénin, Burundi, Haïti, Madagascar. Début d’une expérimentation IFADEM.
2010 Bénin, Burundi. Évaluation externe de la phase expérimentale d’IFADEM.
2010 Montreux. Les chefs d’États et de gouvernements de la Francophonie réitèrent leur soutien à IFADEM et demandent son déploiement prioritaire en Haïti.
2011 Burundi. Phase de déploiement d’IFADEM.
2012 Bénin. Phase de déploiement d’IFADEM.
2012 Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroun, Liban, Niger, Togo. Nouveaux pays concernés par une phase d’expérimentation d’IFADEM.
2012 Kinshasa. XIVe Sommet de la Francophonie.
2014 Dakar. XVe Sommet de la Francophonie.
2015 Incheon. Définition de l'agenda pour l'Education 2030 lors du forum mondial sur l'Education, "Vers une éducation inclusive et équitable de qualité et un apprentissage tout au long de la vie pour tous."
Textes francophones de référence
The Millennium Development Goal and Universal Primary Education
Access to education in countries of the south and especially sub-Saharan Africa has considerably improved over the last few years. However, although the number of programs has increased, qualitatively primary education has hardly progressed.
According to the Global Partnership for Education, in many developing countries, the quality of education remains mediocre and children acquire only 20 to 25% of knowledge assimilated by those in rich countries.
More and more children have access to initial primary or basic education, but “it is not certain that they learn anything […], universal school enrolment is partly an illusion […], improving the quality of schools is an essential condition for retaining parents’ trust” (Esther Duflo, Le développement humain, 2010).
The Education for All (EFA) programme seems to be at a dead end according to UNESCO’s 2012 Report. It recognizes that teachers are the most important resource for the improvement of learning, but that the lack of trained teachers in many countries is a major obstacle for reaching EFA goals.
To improve the quality of teaching, many means may be employed: improving the health and nutrition of children, increasing teacher motivation, improving the system’s governance, etc. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also recommends introducing policies to improve the quality and pertinence of teaching through reforms in curricula and teaching methods.
It is on this last issue that IFADEM concentrates its action. An improvement in teaching practices has important repercussions on the quality of learning and gives the teacher back a taste for teaching.
The Francophone Context
During the Bucharest 11th Francophone Summit in 2006, in order to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals and education for all in particular, French-speaking heads of state and government requested the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) to pool means of support for member states’ national policies for modernization of their educational systems. This request, formulated in Article 33 of the Bucharest Declaration, states that “OIF and AUF, on the basis of their experience and knowledge, will propose a common initiative to francophone authorities for increasing the offer of programmes and training content centred around teaching technologies”.
This was to become the Francophone initiative for open-distance teacher training (IFADEM) whose website was presented at the Quebec Summit in 2008. The Francophone Resolution adopted at this summit explicitly supports IFADEM and its work toward “reinforcing initial and continuous teacher training programmes”.
In 2010, in the official declaration of the 13th Summit at Montreux, francophone heads of state and government reiterated their support for the initiative on the basis of the experimental phase of IFADEM, and an independent evaluation.
“We recognise that access to a good education for all, in addition to training and professional teaching, is an essential condition for a society’s sustainable development. We pledge to promote EFA in synergy with development partners and civil society. We reaffirm the main responsibility of public authorities for the formulation and implementation of educational and training policies, in respect of national languages. We reiterate our support for francophone action in the field of education, such as the Francophone Initiative for open-distance teacher training (IFADEM), whose multiplier effects have been demonstrated for our populations. We request OIF and AUF to continue its extension, giving priority to Haiti.”
In 2012, heads of state and government sharing the French language, met at the 14th Francophone Summit in Kinshasa (DRC), and noted “with satisfaction the extension of the initiative for open-distance teacher training (IFADEM).”