Senegal: COSYDEP Fights to Eliminate Quota System

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Introduction

Coalition des Organisations en Synergie pour la Défense de l’Education Publique (COSYDEP) is a group of NGOs, trade unions and grassroots organisations, aspiring to achieve the Education for All in Senegal. COSYDEP became a credible representative of civil society in Senegal working to influence the Ministry of Education and other decision-makers, holding them to account for their plans and budgets.

However, the group raised concern over the recruitment of teachers in the country. They stated that teacher’s recruitment should be based on merit and on the needs arising from the education system. In 1995, the ‘Security Quota System’ (quota sécuritaire) was introduced, as an alternative teacher recruitment process, operating in parallel with the formal competitive employment structures. It was observed that through the Security Quota System, teachers were directly employed by the central services of the Ministry of Education, instead of following the formal entry procedures and as a result of this, the system produced teachers that lacked appropriate training and experience through undemocratic recruitment processes. Lack of accountability mechanisms for supervision was also observed and this brought disaster to the educational sector of the country.

Process

With funding from the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF), the group was able to carry out advocacy, monitor commitments on education and engage effectively in dialogue with the government, working towards enhanced policies on education. However, they took a strong position against the Security Quota System. They demanded the abolition of the Security Quota System by lobbying and writing letters to the President and also put pressure on the Ministry of Education and policymakers to scrap the system.

COSYDEP worked with its members and teacher unions to carry out research and studies unveiling the serious consequences of the Security Quota System on the education sector. The results of the research were shared broadly through newsletters, videos, and in the media, to create awareness among the general public and make the Security Quota debate a key public issue. COSYDEP organised a bus travelling through various districts to spread information in local schools and communities, and carried out mass mobilisation activities through its members.

Outcome

Due to the pressure put on them by COSYDEP’s active advocacy, the government took action and eliminated the Security Quota System. As a result of this, there was an improvement at teacher recruitment levels, through official, competitive processes, and improved teacher training provisions.

To hold the government accountable for its abolishment of the Security Quota System, COSYDEP put in place monitoring mechanisms by ensuring regular feedback from members in different regions to ensure that the Security Quota System has been eradicated.

However, a new Training and Communication Directorate and teacher training centres in each region of the country have been established by the Ministry of Education.

Contact of the Organisation

Coalition des Organisations en Synergie pour la Défense de l’Education Publique (COSYDEP)

Telephone: + 221 33 864 13 58

E-mail: cosydep@gmail.com

Website: www.cosydep.org

Source: Campaign for Education

Photo source: Global Partnership for Education

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About Author

Jokpa Mudia is an enthusiastic and self-motivated writer for Development Diaries. She holds a B.A. in English and Literary Studies from Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. Her interests are creative writing, research and advocacy reviews. She loves travelling and meeting people as these help her in learning more about people, places and cultures.

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