RAMAA enters its second phase
The sixth international action research workshop on measuring literacy programme participants’ learning outcomes (RAMAA) was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 4 to 6 May 2015. Organised by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in partnership with the UNESCO Offices in Dakar, Abuja, and Abidjan, the meeting was held in order to carry out a critical review of phase 1 of the project, from 2011 to 2014, and reach consensus on the planning of phase 2.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Côte d’Ivoire’s education minister, Her Excellency Mrs Kandia Camara, and attended by some fifty participants. These included education ministry officials, university professors, and specialists from national statistical institutes in the phase 1 countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Morocco, Niger and Senegal). They also represented additional countries that had expressed interest in the project: Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Togo. Other delegates included international experts from the OECD, the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP), the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), researchers and consultants from Hamburg University and from Canada, and technical and financial partners from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).
The first phase of the project has produced results the impacts of which are already visible nationally. In Morocco, for example, data from RAMAA provided an important basis for the redevelopment of the national literacy strategy and road map for 2014 to 2020. In Niger, the results were used to draw up the accelerated adult literacy plan recently adopted by the government. They are also being considered as a framework for a possible master’s in education at Dakar University’s national school of applied economics (ENEA).
During the planning of phase 2, participants agreed that there was an urgent need to improve the quality of the existing measurement tools, which would require a substantial revision of the competence framework. This must be managed in such a way as to strengthen governance so that all conditions will be fulfilled to provide effective support to participating countries, and quality assurance for the tools. All twelve countries listed above, and the external experts and partners, expressed a strong commitment to taking part in phase 2 of the project.
UIL director Arne Carlsen ended the workshop by emphasising that the institutional dialogue with the twelve partner countries would continue, and introduced UNESCO’s road map for the continuation of the project. This will include finalising the phase 1 report, the phase 2 conceptual document and the research plan, and laying down a system of governance.