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“We Are Implementing A New Pedagogical Approach”

Professor Marcelin Vounda Etoa, Permanent Secretary, National Council for the Approval of Textbooks and Didactic Material.

After the publication of a booklist last May, there seems to be some changes. What are these changes? 

Two booklists have been published. The first was on Nursery and Primary schools. This was done on March 9, 2020. The text provides that a booklist be published five months before the resumption of schools. The five months are meant for the publishers to print where they want and ship the books to the local market. The booklist that was published in the month of May was for secondary schools. As concern changes on the book lists for Basic Education, all the three books used for the Nursery section have been changed as well as all the seven books used in Class One and Two. This is due to the Competence-Based-Approach (CBA). These changes are found on the booklist that was published on March 9. The booklist for the other classes, that is Class Three to Six have not changed. Changes in these classes will take place progressively. The Minister of Basic Education has asked us to apply the Competence-Based-Approach progressively and we have started from the bottom.  Next year we are going to move to Class Three until we get to Class Six. For secondary schools booklists, only Classe de 1ere for the francophone sub-section of education and the Lower and Upper Sixths for the Anglophone Sub-section of Education books have changed. This is because the CBA in the secondary education system is being applied since 2014. Books for Form One to Form Five have not changed, since they have already gone through the CBA.

Why is the Competence-Based-Approach coming up only now?

The CBA came later, sometime in 2014. Books that were being used before the implementation of the CBA remained in the programme and are being changed gradually. For the primary section, the implementation of the CBA is beginning this year. Last year, pupils used books that were not adapted or adequate to the new CBA. The implementation of the CBA did not begin the same time in the Secondary and Primary schools. At the Secondary level, it began in 2014 and we are almost at the end of the process with the Lower and Upper Sixths. In fact, nothing has changed in the booklist that was published in March. Whatever people read on social media about changes in the official book list is fake news. The change in the booklists is between that of last year and this year. When the CBA was adopted in 2018, we did not have books adapted to the process. Publishers were asked to write books that should fit the new approach. These books were evaluated in February and integrated into the booklist that was published in March 2020. We are implementing a new pedagogical approach beginning with Nursery and Classes One and Two.

What is particular about the Competent-Based-Approach?

Competency-based education is an approach that allows students to advance based on their ability to master a skill or competency at their own pace regardless of the environment. This method is tailored to meet different learning abilities and can lead to more efficient student outcomes. The approach enables students and pupils to use what they learn in the classroom to solve their daily problems.

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