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ERIC Number: EJ961058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0738-0593
Of Gateways and Gatekeepers: Language, Education and Mobility in Francophone Africa
Trudell, Barbara
International Journal of Educational Development, v32 n3 p368-375 May 2012
Over the past 15 years, a range of alternative education programs have been launched in Burkina Faso. The programs have been developed primarily by international or national NGOs, within a supportive policy space provided by the national government. They aim to respond to the widely recognized inadequacy of the French-language ecoles classiques to provide a meaningful primary education experience for most Burkinabe children. One of the values which these programs all espouse is support for the lived realities of Burkinabe communities, particularly the communities that are least well served by the traditional school system. This value is reflected in, among other things, the use of the learner's mother tongue as a gateway to effective learning. However the influence of the French-dominated educational system is evident in the curriculum choices made in these programs; clearly, success in that system is a crucial step in navigating one's way past the social and economic gatekeepers of success in Burkina Faso. Thus language is seen as both gateway and gatekeeper, depending on its role in facilitating academic success or inhibiting social mobility. This paradoxical allegiance to both local realities and the colonially established education system has led to the development of bilingual education models which are at variance with the models promoted by theorists in the North. This paper examines several of these programs in the context of larger issues of mobility, literacy, language and culture in francophone Africa. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Burkina Faso