Minister calls for exam reform to serve development aims

Minister for Higher Education and Research Mary Teuw Niane has called for reform of the baccalauréat to take account of the link between the school-leaving exam, university studies and the job market.

At an official meeting on the baccalauréat held in Saint-Louis, Niane proposed that a national commission should be set up to study reform of the examination, which is regarded as the first university diploma and gives successful candidates the right to study in higher education.

He said the bac’s historic dimension made it possible to “understand all the symbolic, emotional and social value of this certificate”, reported Le Soleil of Dakar. Around its organisation there was a “kind of solemnity which mobilises families, public authorities and the media”, he said.

Although the bac had undergone previous reforms, it was important to question its sociological, sociocultural, academic and economic determining factors, said Niane. He also called for inspection of the link between success in the exam, higher education, the employment market and socio-economic needs.

“We must ask ourselves if the bac, or bacs, prepare for acquisition of knowledge and skills which our economy needs to achieve development objectives,” said Niane.

It was necessary to work, so training and research-innovation systems were consistent with secondary and university education, he said.

In the last university year the exam had experienced numerous leaks due to social media, reported Le Soleil. Professor Babou Diaham, director of the Bac Office, said that even with the development of social networks thought must be given to ensuring “a certain reliability, for credibility of the baccalauréat which will come about with renewal of the education system”.

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.