For it to be useful to as many countries as possible, the guide is based on a general conceptual design. However, since the concern is to show that the introduction of African languages and cultures in education is feasible in Africa today, the guide draws inspiration from concrete cases of the African reality and, more specifically, from success stories in the area under consideration. To that end, the guide is based on a set of assumptions.
- A “fictitious” country: This guide does not explicitly mention any country. However, it refers to the experiment of a multilingual basic education continuum in a country of Francophone West Africa. This continuum comprises three elements: A nursery (3 years), en elementary school (5 years), post?primary education (4 years).
- The use of African languages as media of instruction?learning is a decision obtained in the framework law on education and its implementing orders now need to be issued.
- The use of African languages as a media of instruction – learning is a constituent of a more extensive programme, that of the global reform of the education system without which the use of national languages would not have a solid basis.
- The model of bilingualism adopted in this guide is additive bilingualism. Contrary to the widespread practice consisting in using African languages during the first two or three years of schooling and abandoning them immediately after to switch to a foreign language, this guide suggests the coexistence of the national African language and French throughout primary school and during the early part of the post?primary cycle, in proportions that are well defined in the contribution of each medium to learning.
- The experiment envisaged here covers a 10 year period: a primary education cycle of 6 years and 4 years of post-primary education which generally corresponds to the junior secondary level.
- Another 10 year period is spent expanding the innovation with a view to its progressive generalization.
For the complete document, click on “Planner’s Guide For The Introduction of African Languages and Cultures in the Education System”.