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Policies, Strategies and Reforms  
justify">Within the framework of the 1986 national plan for economic, social and cultural development, the Government designated education as a key area for the future prosperity of the country. On the basis of that plan, short-term action programmes, which  generally lasted about two years, provided the guidelines for the development and growth  of the sector. Little progress was reported before 199O.
In the wake of the Jomtien Conference, the Mauritanian Government embarked upon a policy designed to improve both access to education and the quality of the education  offered.. - Bearing these goals in mind, the Government has implemented several development plans  since. These intentions were confirmed in 1992 in the course of the Prime Minister's address to Parliament: 'The system of education will be assigned the twofold mission of achieving social integration and extending the acquisition of learning and know-how. We  must work in the first place to speed up school enrolment and secondly to improve the content of our general scientific and technical education so as to match international  standards of quality.
For the period from 1995 - 2000. the educational priorities of the country were set out in a letter on sector policy which stressed the importance attached to basic education. As outlined in the letter, the specific goal was to increase facilities with a view to being able to admit all children aged between 6 and 11 by about 2000 while at the same time providing better educational services (syllabuses, materials teachers)Within that framework, the strategies targeted (a) the pursuit of a school building programme co-financed by the communities with the aim of enlisting greater parent involvement
This should permit an enlargement of the infrastructure by a participation in the region of 30% of construction costs and full accountability (choice of foreman, purchase of materials), with the Government acting in an advisory capacity on technical matters (b) greater control of unit costs, especially at the higher level, by better allocation of resources (c), improvement of school syllabuses (d) implementation of a training policy to raise the level of teacher training qualifications and staff recruitment) (e) pursuit of a system of  distribution of school text-books by strengthening the sales network of the NPI ( National Pedagogical Institute) and (f) better planning and management of human and physical resources.  Before the end of this programme, bearing in mind the Millennium Goals and the issues at  stake, as well as the requirements of globalization, the Government agreed to put in place  a wide-ranging reform of the system of education.

The reform, voted at a special parliamentary session in 1999, maintained the emphasis laid on Arabic and national culture but sought to steer the system along a path of modernization and openness, placing school at the heart of development. The modifications introduced were part of a policy to improve quality overall. Unification of the system. by suppressing the language network created under the l979 reform; Extension of the teaching period in the first cycle of secondary education from 3 to 4 years; Strengthening science teaching and introduction of physics and informatics in the first  cycle of secondary education; Strengthening foreign language teaching (French, English)

The reform wasbolstered by a National Development Programme for the Education Sector NDPES), which covers the period 2001 - 2010 and includes early childhood and literacy for the first time. The preparatory stage lasted for almost a year, keeping the most divers actors in the system of education fully engaged.; among them were multidisciplinary teams of professionals, parents' associations, civil society, partners in development, decision- makers, etc. Throughout the process there was frank and fruitful discussion on all the matters linked to the general problems of schooling This gave rise to copious documentation on the entire sector from early childhood to higher education and covered all orders and types of teaching and training in Mauritania. The NDPES is the synthesis of this unprecedented undertaking in the country as far as this sector is concerned. The programme was evolved to take account of the following factors:
Firm guidelines for applying the system, based on the development of forecasting skills, the creation of a central administration,, a continuing assessment of the system and
planned recruitment; Improvement in the educational supply, which would involve , among others the introduction of a school. card and the reorganization of the university and technical and vocational training; Strengthening the quality of education ,which would rest largely on the renovation of syllabuses, the availability of teaching materials, , enhanced vocational training and structuring of initial and continuing education, as well as on an improvement in performance in the area of educational management and recruitment. Better use of human resources by means of career monitoring linked to an appreciation of merit and achievements as well as rationalization of staff appointments; Re-absorption of regional disparities underpinned by a planned approach for the allocation of resources; Strengthening education for girls; Growth of the role of the private sector in matters of educational supply, which would be sought in accordance with a suitable policy of promotion.
Source: unesco.org  


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