Appropriate education - Enfants du Monde Appropriate education - Enfants du Monde

Our approach to education

Education tailored to the specific needs of pupils

In our schools, we focus on quality education, based on an innovative, active teaching approach developed by our specialists following the many failures of the literacy campaigns of the 1960s. These were based on mechanical memorisation and mastery of a limited number of skills.

We advocate teaching in the local mother tongue and the official language of the country, adapted to the needs of the children and linked to the local culture. This approach stimulates children’s participation, encourages them to think and act for themselves and to solve problems independently.

5 principles for a quality education

1. Contextualisation

The content of the lessons is rooted in the pupils’ everyday life. We adapt school programmes after analysing educational needs and the problems encountered by local populations.

The subjects taught are seen as relevant by the local population because they meet their particular needs and can be put into practice in their daily lives. For example, children learn how to care for livestock.

2. Interculturality

Cultural differences are highlighted in a positive way, enabling students to develop a critical and open outlook. What’s more, students’ empirical knowledge is put into dialogue with the scientific knowledge they need to acquire.

3. Multilingualism

Classes are taught in the official language and in the children’s mother tongues. This makes learning easier and keeps the pupils motivated. The different languages are used in a complementary way in the teaching, with a view to promoting a better appropriation of knowledge.

4. Interdisciplinarity

Synergies between school subjects are encouraged in order to address the community’s main social and sustainability issues in the classroom; language and mathematical skills are used to teach and learn science subjects.

5. Active learning

Varied class projects and working methods favour the pupils’ participation and their ability to learn how to learn i.e. to develop skills (collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity) that are useful for lifelong learning.

Recognizing educational needs

Field surveys allow us to :

  • Identify practices and social représentations, as well as issues connected to the communities’ daily life, which can be dealt with in schools ;
  • Understand the learners’ and learners’ communities’ thought and action logic, which can potentially represent an advantage or an obstacle for new learnings ;
  • Understand the language practices to promote respect towards the languages spoken locally and favour learning.


  • By interacting with the academic world : by taking into account new discoveries in the field of education sciences and contributing to research with case studies ;
  • By putting our 5 principles for a quality education at the heart of the education systems in the countries in which we intervene ;
  • By using new technologies : distance learning, educational radio programmes, digitalized monitoring tools.

Monitoring and assessing

Our interventions are permanently monitored :

  • Assessment of the pupils’ levels
  • Observation of teaching and learning practices in class
  • Continuous improvement of the quality of the teaching materials devised after an analysis of their use in class
  • Impact assessment

Our principles in practice in the countries


Thanks to our efforts aimed at improving the quality of education, which allows students to acquire not only basic knowledge but also practical knowledge applicable to their daily lives, Enfants du Monde has offered a better prospect to thousands of boys and girls.

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We have set up a Master’s degree in Education Sciences, entitled “Master in bi/plurilingualism and interculturality”, to address recurring difficulties. Local languages are not sufficiently used in teaching, and subjects are often disconnected from the context and have no direct link with the lives and environment of children and young people.

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Burkina Faso

For over thirty years, Enfants du Monde has brought its education programme to many regions of Burkina Faso with the goal of offering a better future to thousands of disadvantaged children.

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In 2001, as part of the Bilingual and Intercultural Education Programme, Enfants du Monde began its intervention in the Alta Verapaz region to improve the quality of education and to train the teaching staff in bilingual and intercultural education.

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Enfants du Monde is actively working in Niger to offer a second chance to children who have dropped out of school or left it too early. The aim is to improve quality and access to education.

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In order to help the children of Chad and enable them to receive ,  is improving the national education system in a sustainable way, on behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

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Adrien Bitibaly/Enfants du Monde/Fairpicture

My donation makes a difference

For example:

With 60 francs:

I am offering a day’s in-service training in bilingual education to 2 teachers in Burkina Faso to improve the quality of their lessons.

With 100 francs:

I am donating a bilingual textbook in French and Mooré to 11 children in Burkina Faso to help them progress.

With 140 francs:

I fund educational radio programmes for pupils who can no longer go to school in Guatemala.

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