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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2002 CAR: Rapport d'Evaluation de l'Impact des Ecoles Communautaires dans la Nana Grebizi (Evaluation of community-based non-formal schools)



Author: Belekay, C.; Doungoute, F.

Executive summary

Background:

In 2002, the government and UNICEF evaluated the new community-based schools pilot approach initiated in 1995 in two prefectures of the country, in order to draw lessons and propose pertinent orientations for the consolidation of results within the new 2002-2006 cooperation framework, set perspectives for extension of such strategy at national level, to promote girls enrolment in cooperation with other partners.

Purpose/Objective:

The objective of this evaluation was to draw lessons from strength and weaknesses of the results from the community-based schools, for an efficient re-orientation of the girls’ enrolment promotion project.

The objectives of the evaluation were to:

  • Measure the impact of the UNICEF intervention, in the pilote zone of Nana-Gribizi, through internal and external yield indicators of community-based schools;
  • Know the different realizations undertaken during the period 1997-2001, in terms of process indicators;
  • Appreciate the quality of teaching in conformity with the curriculum and determine academic programmes, school manuals and/ or teaching materials, taking into account girls specifics needs.
  • Appreciate the efficiency of the link between non-formal and formal education and determine the existence of the mechanism of coordination between the formal system and community-based school.
  • Appreciate the efficiency of different strategies undertaken to promote enrolment in Nana-Gribizi, as well as the efficiency of the community participation.
  • Draw lessons from that experimentation in terms of successes and  failures by focusing on the strengths and constrains;
  • Obtain views and expectations of concerned parties regarding community-based schools. 
  • Obtain concrete recommendations to improve strategies.

Methodology:

The methodology used included: i) Documentary research with the review of field visit report, supervision report, report on periodicals and case studies, ii) Appreciate the quantitative results through statistical data (indicators) of MICS 1996, MICS 2000, community surveillance data per village, routine information published in the social prefectoral bulletin board, and annual statistical books of education.  iii) Individuals discussions and focus-group of target group (children, parents, teachers, women, authorities, endogenous and professional facilitators, etc.) iv) field observation, assessment of teachers teaching capacities and of the manuals content.

Findings and Conclusions:

The evaluation has revealed strong and weak points of the interventions.

I. Regarding the strong points: the effectiveness of the intervention was registered in the locality involved, there has been positive impact of the opening of 23 schools and social mobilization  which have enable 1,500 children of age 8 to15 to catch-up with school of which 60% of the girls now know how to read, write and count and more important can take of themselves and their younger brothers.

The school results of the move from the non-formal to formal were satisfactory with about 300 children admitted in the formal system and ten students obtained their primary cycle degree and moved to secondary cycle.  The efficiency of the intervention is evidenced because the construction cost of a school is very small (less than 4 thousands dollars); UNICEF contribution is only on imported materials.  There is a relatively indirect impact on the formal system in girls favour, through the sensitization campaigns: the difference in the rate enrolment between boys and girls has been reduced in the intervention zone from 26 to 19 points between 1997 and 2001.  Small jobs such as tailoring, carpentry, gardening, etc. taught to adolescents are useful in their respective communities.  The passion and the net commitment of the communities at all the stages of the process, is a determinant factor for the lasting of the intervention.  The multiple requests from other prefectures witness the communities’ interest in the innovative strategy.

The relevance of the new strategy of girls’ enrolment promotion through a catching up approach for those having abandoned the formal system has been evidenced.  The government and the partners are pleading for an extension to national level of this pilot project with the assistance of other donors.

II. Regarding the weak points, the national crisis context, and the generalized poverty have played a negative role in the school performances which are weak whether in the formal or non-formal system: the rate of enrolment in the first year has been only 22% in 2000-2001 and the school attendance in the primary school has dropped from 52% in 1998 to 43% in 2000-2001; the retention of students in the system is weak: the school dropout rate has increased from 5% in 1998 to 21% in 2000 (18,5% for boys and 25% for girls); in the same token, the girls accomplishment rate for the primary cycle has dropped from 27% in 1999 to 7% in 2001 in the zone; the absence of material aid and of free school in the formal system brings about a school dropout rate of 66% for children of the fourth year, and 95% for those of the fifth year for children coming from non-formal system because of the lack of assistance (backing) from poor parents.

The quality of teaching is not satisfactory: the initial curriculum is no longer adapted to national programme and necessitate a review to take into account the new expressed needs in relation to the formal system and the
communities needs.  The sustainability of the intervention is endangered by the weak financial participation of the communities: Thus taking charge of the parents-teachers by families and communities is not insured because of generalize poverty context, where the agricultural export products (cotton and coffee) of the farmers have not been sold for the past two years.

The equity not guaranteed because of the weak coverage of the intervention in relation to the enormous needs of the school age children’s’ enrolment  and this because of the very limited financial resources: there are only 23 schools limited to 2 prefectures having more than 80,000 children too be enrolled; the programme is not yet generalized in the country.

Weaknesses are observed in the coordination, management and follow-up at the decentralized level: the teaching and the administrative follow-up are weak;  the links of the close collaboration between the school directors of the formal system and the beneficiaries of the informal system are not well established.  The community actors (students parent association, management committee) have deficiencies in the management of the non-formal schools because of the lack of adequate school management.

Recommendations:

The evaluation of the community-based schools has led to the following main recommendation: the review to increase the duration of the long cycle; the inclusion in the curriculum of subjects such as history, geography and natural sciences;  the increase of practical learning equipment for better knowledge (acquisition) by the student of the short cycle; the orientation of the practical learning towards agriculture and livestock which will give more
production opportunities to the beneficiaries; partnership of the community teachers; the introduction of the coordination at the prefectoral level; the strengthening of the follow-up and supervisions in an integrated way as well as the holding of an orientation and analysis workshop for the project.



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Report information

Year:
2002

Country:
Central African Republic

Region:
WCARO

Theme:
Education - Adult/Literacy

Type:
Evaluation

Language:
French

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