BUJUMBURA March 19th (ABP) – A study on the continuing training needs of teaching staff in Burundi has revealed that some preschool and early childhood teachers have received inadequate initial training to run preschool classes and that others have no initial training for teaching.
Professor André Nduwimana, who carried out that study, points out that on-the-job training was organized sporadically. Only a few localities in the country where NGOs operate in the field of continuing education have benefited, he added.
The study also reveals that in Burundi, continuing education is dominated by adaptations to educational innovations. More concretely, recently, most of the training consists of those relating to those innovations.
The situation is thus presented whereas in principle, pre-school education or maternal education essentially contribute to stimulating the motor, sensory, psycho-social and intellectual education of the child and that in addition, that must appear in actions initiated, in particular through recreational activities. Unfortunately, notes Professor Nduwimana, most of those classes are given to teachers approaching retirement.
According to Professor Nduwimana, systematic in-service training should have been necessary, especially since “pre-school education and early childhood management” are not included in the initial teacher training programs.
Regarding the training needs that are felt in basic education, the study specifies that they concern the management of large groups and non-violent communication, and especially for the first 3 cycles. In the 4th cycle, training needs are linked to mastering the content of textbooks as well as the efficient use of teaching materials.
In post-basic education, training needs are essentially linked to the pedagogy of integration and the mastery of the content to be taught.
The study finally underlines that pedagogical adaptation training is organized on a large scale, but that the learning outcomes are not systematically evaluated, even less the evaluation of the impact on the level of pupils’ skills.
Professor Nduwimana therefore believes that without accompanying measures or a system of motivation for trained teachers, changes to innovations will remain of limited significance, especially since there is no legal framework to adopt those new methods.