• Ivory Coast: Vocational schools, an alternative for young graduates

Ivory Coast: Vocational schools, an alternative for young graduates

The government is struggling but does not intend to cede the problem of the professional integration of young graduates from general and vocational schools. The adequacy between the training system and the professional environment remains the equation to be solved. The issue has been the subject of intense reflection in academic circles.

By Issiaka N’GUESSAN, in Abidjan

On September 4th, the day of the beginning of classes in Ivory Coast, among 18,883 candidates, 12332 students, have joined technical and vocational schools. All of them come from general education, which does not always offer them vocational integration. This is the challenge for the Minister of Youth Promotion, Youth Employment and Civic Service, Sidi Tiémoko Toure, who is leading an offensive on the place of companies for help in hiring graduates, a real Ivorian puzzle!

Change of system

For several years now, the question has been the subject of reflection in academic circles. Each time, the remark is the same:  the school system needs to be changed. André Silver Konan, a political analyst, favors “training by competence rather than maintaining the model of general education. And to develop thus: “I had a brilliant friend, but only in mathematics. He was dismissed from the middle school because he could not write a correct sentence in English and was poor in French. This great mathematician in perspective is found today to hunt birds in a field of rice, in the village. This model cannot and should not prosper! “

Teacher and former director of the National Institute of Social Formation (INFS), Mamadou Traoréestimates, thinks that the uniform school for the children of the rich and the children of the poor would be “a noble but unfeasible act”. He also advocates «the bold policies for a free school.»

Decentralization and community management

Microbiologist Roméo Dou Tchékoua Yao, a specialist in rural agricultural projects, and a graduate of the Mediterranean Agronomy Institute in Montpellier (IAMM-France), thinks that “the solution on the issue of the school of tomorrow in Africa is political. It is the decentralization of national education. If the mayor of a municipality is allowed to manage all the schools in his community and recruit, there will be no discrimination at schools. And no school would be dilapidated. “

Vocational education, the sesame

6159 graduates have been graduated from the Private Institute of Tropical Agriculture (Inprat), created since 1997 in Adzopé. According to its administration, “70% of graduates are hired by multinational companies and national agricultural enterprises, 25% by their own account, and 5% by other orientations.” Which confirms Mamadou Traoré’s analysis: “Vocational education could be very useful if it is placed at the level of national priorities. Unfortunately, this is not what our African governments are interested in “. The former official of the Ivorian public treasury, Lazare N’dri, considers that there is “inadequacy between training and employment” and advocates ” to identify all the sectors that lead to the creation of adequate training  for self-employment, encouraging the creation of start-ups and creating an environment conducive to the development of the private sector in general. “

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