projects: Bilingual Education in Madagascar

Bilingual education in rural areas in Madagascar During the seventies and the eighties the public school system in Madagascar provided primary and secondary education in Malagasy while higher education remained relatively dependent on France and was mainly offered in French. In the early nineties French was reintroduced as a medium of instruction in all Malagasy schools from the second grade onwards, but especially in rural areas French has very little relevance in everyday life. In the past years due to the general economic crisis and the lack of financial means for schools in the country and probably also due to the sudden change of the medium of instruction the level of school enrollment and the share of pupils finishing primary education have decreased seriously.

In the project the Centre for Intercultural Studies is cooperating closely with two Malagasy NGOs: CICAFE - a network of local development initiatives - and Malagasy Mahomby - an organization that promotes curriculum development and adult education. In the rural area of Ambatofinandrahana situated in the central highlands of Madagascar a series of seminars has taken place with teachers to examine the possibilities of bilingual education. A working group of teachers has been formed to work curriculum development and on the elaboration of adapted teaching material. The project includes aspects of community school development (e.g. "school gardens" as additional source of income, the school as cultural and adult education centre) and work with parents' organizations.