FRANCOPHONE AFRICA: E-training for primary teachers

The first evaluation of an experimental distance training project for primary school French teachers in three African countries and Haiti has taken place. Ifadem, the francophone initiative for distance training of teachers, is a joint collaboration between the French-speaking University Agency, AUF, and the International Organisation for Francophonie, OIF.

The principal aim of this first Ifadem pilot is to improve the skills of primary school French teachers. In addition to Haiti, the countries involved in the project are Benin, Burundi and Madagascar.

The project's final assessment will be presented later this month to country representatives at the OIF in Paris.

More than 3,000 teachers in the four countries, mostly working in rural areas, are involved in the innovative training project that combines written, multimedia and internet resources, according to the AUF.

Ifadem is using a range of aids bringing together traditional training methods and ICTs, thanks to AUF resources such as the agency's network of digital campuses and its open and distance training system.

The project is jointly funded by the AUF and OIF which are each contributing EUR1.5 million (US$1.8 million) over three years.

The Rector of the AUF, Bernard Cerquiglini, said: "This is the first time AUF and OIF have worked together on such a large-scale initiative. We have pooled our resources and our expertise, and have mobilised a number of partners. Through Ifadem we are giving meaning and visibility to the French-speaking world working in the field, in a supportive, efficient and modern manner."