Workshop on qualifications referential for teachers in ECOWAS region

10 November 2014 to 12 November 2014
UNESCO Dakar office
Republic of Senegal


Data from UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS 2012) show that access standards to the teaching profession vary considerably from one country to another and in some subSaharan African countries less than half of the teachers meet the minimum national qualifications standards.

Moreover, most countries in the region have undertaken reforms aimed at professionalizing teachers and developing qualifications framework to improve the quality, accessibility, recognition of their qualifications among the wider public and on the labor market, nationally as well as regionally. However, differences of practices in this process require dialogue among countries to better understand educational, sociopolitical, economic and mobility issues that teacher qualifications framework entail.

In order to support this process UNESCO, which main line of action in support to EFA is teacher’s quality, has initiated in 2012, a joint venture on National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks (NQF/RQF) for Teacher. This joint venture is led by UNESCO Dakar office who works in close partnership with The International Task Force on Teachers for EFA, CONFEMEN, ADEA, OIF/AUF/IFADEM and The African Union.

It has already permitted to achieve the following results:

  • Identification of the ECOWAS region and (nine of its countries1) as pilot for the development of Regional and National Qualifications frameworks for primary school teachers (Regional workshop, June 2012)
  • Development of a tool to analyze activities sets or intervention areas that structures the work of school teachers and the competencies required for each of these activities. : “ the referential matrix of required activities and competencies for primary education teachers” (Round Table of 9 pilot countries , July 2013)
  • Development of competency profiles of primary school teachers of the 9 ECOWAS pilot countries and definition of the outline of an assessment referential for these competencies. (Series of national workshops, December 2013 to August 2014).
  • Drafting of a referential of qualifications for primary teachers which will be valid for all nine countries. It should be noted here that a qualifications referential defines the subjects (knowledge, knowhow and attitudes) to be assessed, the assessment process (modalities, criteria and actors involved) as well as the authority responsible for the quality assurance of the process. (Work sessions of international experts, JulyAugust 2014).

Objectives and expected results of the workshop

The workshop will bring together senior staff for teacher training and curriculum from the nine ECOWAS countries involved in the pilot phase of the development of National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks, as well as international experts of the subregion.

The objectives will be as follow:

  • The review and validation of the synthesis of competency profiles for primary school teachers of the nine ECOWAS countries;
  • The review and validation of draft descriptors of a qualifications referential for primary teachers of ECOWAS region;
  • The review of a proposal of descriptors to establish a qualifications framework;
  • A road map for ways forward required to reach a prototype of National and Regional Qualifications framework for ECOWAS primary school teachers.

There are five expected results:

  1. The synthesis of competency profiles of primary school teachers of nine ECOWAS countries is validated;
  2. Professional standards for primary school teachers in the ECOWAS region are validated;
  3. The principles of qualifications standards for primary school teachers in the ECOWAS region are validated;
  4. A definition of descriptors for a qualifications framework for primary school teachers is discussed and validated;
  5. A budgeted roadmap for continued joint venture on the development of National and Regional Qualifications Framework (NQF/RQF) for teachers is elaborated and validated. 


The workshop will alternate plenary and breakout sessions. Collected information on different aspects of the development of qualifications framework will be exposed in plenary session (synthesis of competency profiles, professional standards of primary school teachers, descriptors of qualifications framework, budgeted road map). The breakout sessions will enable participants to conduct a technical review and amend documents for their finalization and validation. 

Two of the participating countries already have some experience in the process of developing qualifications framework, although not specifically related to the teaching profession (Nigeria and The Gambia). They will be asked to share their experience with the other countries. Finally, partner agencies will be invited to present their activities and work together to identify activities in the road map that they could technically or financially support.

The working languages will be French and English.

Date and Venue

The workshop will be held in Dakar, Senegal from the 1012 November 2014 at UNESCO Dakar, Route de Ngor, premises of Ngor Diarama Hotel.


Each of the following nine countries will be represented, if possible, by one representative in charge of teacher training and one in charge of curriculum development or evaluation: Benin, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and The Gambia. Other ECOWAS countries will also be also represented as observers.

The following agencies and institutions are invited to designate at least one person to attend the meeting: The International Task Force for EFA, CONFEMEN, ADEA, OIF/AUF/IFADEM, AU, IOM, WAEMU, UNICEF, Education International, etc. 

UNESCO (IICBA and Dakar and Abuja offices) will be in charge of the scientific coordination of the sessions, as well as one external expert.