MTG in Mali

Concept Paper 


 The total number of students to be enrolled across primary grades 1 to 6 in many rural schools will always be low in number in Mali. Teachers are not available for all the classes or grades. Such schools basically require teachers to work with small groups of children of different grade levels in the same classroom. In these situations, the teacher is required to use multi- grade teaching approaches. Small multi-grade schools serve areas that are thinly populated. In remote rural areas, they also help to create education opportunities for girls by bringing schools closer to the home and initially meet the needs of children in nomadic communities. These schools are a crucial part of the drive to attain the goals of the EFA which the government and people of Mali have committed themselves to. In rural areas, with low population density and communities in difficult terrains, schools are often small and are likely to remain so. Multi-grade teaching is not a new idea. It has been a feature of the school systems of many low-income and industrialized countries for a number of years as it enables governments to provide education for children living in remote or small communities. In Africa, in addition to this and as a response to the current shortage of teachers, to teacher absenteeism and to the budget restraints facing many countries, multi-grade- classes with excessively large numbers of pupils have become a necessity.In Mali there is not only a big difference between education in urban schools and rural schools but also between girls and boys. In rural areas the repeating level is very high and especially girls leave the school at a young age. More then 50% of the schools in Mali practice multigrade teaching. Education quality and access for all is an important issue but there is still a long way to go. Mali has a shortage of teachers and schools, to solve that problem World Education started a pilot project on multigrade teaching.The monitoring and evaluation department of our project team collected information on multigrade statistics in all grade 1-6 (primary) schools in Mali. Based on this analyze and the discussions with the training department of the Ministry of Education, we decided to start the pilot multigrade phase in the districts Fana and San. Both districts have the highest level (73 %) of multigrade teaching in the country. In this pilot phase, we decided to monitor and train trainers (conseiller pédagogique), teachers and head teachers of ten schools.

The target schools are:

Schools which do not recruit every year

Schools were multigrade is already existing

Very remote schools

Community and Arab schools (Medersa)


Five schools in Fana region

Five schools in San region

The more specific objectives of the intervention are:

Have a better schooling rate in rural schools (every year recruitment

Getting (and keeping) more girls in school

Improve the quality of education linked to the local context

Reduce the repeating rates

Develop a local training system for teachers

Develop a monitoring system with local monitors.

Develop an assessment for all the schools

Develop a local competency based multigrade curriculum

Develop local made teaching and learning materialsAs a result of the WEI “Multigrade Education” initiative the Ministry of Education installed a MTG core group which is looking at the elaboration of “one teacher” schools in the most remote areas of Mali. WEI is part of this group and has supplied “tons” of MTG information.