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Etude sociolinguistique sur l’adéquation entre la demande et l’offre d’enseignement bilingue dans la région de Mopti


Since the 1980s, Mali has promoted bilingual education in certain primary school. Beginning in the 2009-2010 academic year, all school implementing a new bilingual curriculum (known as “curriculum” schools) should be offering the first five grades in national languages. To evaluate the implementation of the bilingual curriculum, Education Development Center (EDC), with support from USAID and in collaboration with Malian ministries concerned with educational policy and implementation, conducted a survey in 949 schools in the Mopti region, a multilingual area of the country where Dogon, Bamanankan, Bozo and Pulaar (Peul) are spoken. The study centered on how well education authorities have matched bilingually trained teachers with students from different linguistic backgrounds in the region’s schools. Specific objectives included creating a linguistic map of the Mopti region of the languages children speak; evaluating teachers’ competency for delivering bilingual education; and identifying the availability of materials.

The study revealed that the implementation of bilingual education has been poor and problematic. Teachers were found to be inconsistently prepared to deliver the approved bilingual education curriculum, were not trained for the grades in which they were teaching, and/or did not have the requisite language schools for the community in which they were assigned. Not surprisingly, then, approximately one quarter of schools (24%) supposedly implementing the bilingual curriculum did not offer any classes that followed the curriculum. Among schools offering the bilingual curriculum in the appropriate language throughout the first primary cycle, only 11% of teachers had been trained in the bilingual curriculum. Overall, only 1% of schools in the Mopti region were found to be providing bilingual instruction in the appropriate language and by a trained teacher throughout the first cycle of primary school. As a result, a strong tendency was found for teachers and school directors to revert back to the “classic” French-based curriculum, resulting in a number of schools being classified as bilingual when they are not, and leaving students unprepared to learn academic content in their mother tongue.

Recommendations from the study include verifying the appropriateness of the language of instruction and the language of the children’s community; better training teachers on how to teach national languages; and matching teachers to the appropriate grade.  

Mali_EtudeSociolinguistique_Rapport_Partie1_(Analyse).pdf1.91 MB
Mali_EtudeSociolinguistique_Rapport_Partie2_(Ecoles).pdf1.4 MB

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