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Africa at the RIDEF

S.Bessan, J.Agossou, E.Dohou,J.Daye de l'ABEM, et 2 participantes à l'atelier!

After 20 years of democracy in Benin, the Modern School Association of Benin developed a democratic model to follow after the practice of Freinet pedagogy.

This day meetings include Bessan S., J. Agossou, Dohou E., J. Daye of ABEM.

The draft submitted by the ABEM is to establish participatory democracy at school. This project, besides being specific Freinet technique responds to the political realities, in fact, democracy at the national level is still very young. The idea and the challenge is to introduce children, future citizens, the very model of country.

What organization?

Each class elects two boys and two girls per class, representing the deputies "in the class will meet once a week, 12 boys and 12 girls, a school teacher (elected by themselves), a representative of parents and school principal are the school parliament. This parliament, along with a "Constitutional Court", 3 girls, governing school life. The court noted an exclusively female concern to establish a little more equity.

Besides these institutions there are five ministers who are partners among the students and the parliament:

- A minister of the discipline, security, rewards and sanctions

- A minister of health, hygiene and nutrition

- A minister of education, training and research

- A minister of children's rights and democracy

- A minister of sport, games and culture.

Examples: If a child has a wound that will not heal, the Minister will see him and tell him he should go to the clinic and return to school clean, if a student does not meet the cleanliness standards of the school, angry with him to discuss what does not work, etc.

This project was a pilot phase in September 2009 and ended with the school year today.

ABEM's team to evaluate your back to adjust, change, improve performance. They told us some examples of topics covered:

- The girls work more than men

- The bathrooms are no longer closed and the entire population has access

- No trash in the yard

- There is a soccer ball for each class

- The school's flag is in poor condition

- There are many delays between students but also among teachers

- Classes are not furnished enough

- The brushes are not enough

- No one to close the school gate

- And above all ... there are only three rooms for six groups of students!

ABEM team has insisted the decision to allow children to talk in their native language, except in those forums, in which French is used for clarity. All the children all express more freely and, therefore, do not hesitate to express critical judgments that have not proved easy to accept by adults, especially for colleagues who are new to these techniques work.

I want to emphasize the difficulties of operation and development of the Freinet movement in a country that is not easy for reasons of geography, economic and material. The four members present at the RIDEF represent the ABEM office (except for one person who could come), which includes one hundred members throughout the country ABEM. They meet three times a year to share their practices. Some years ago the department gave official recognition to the school and were interested in this pedagogy, to the point that officials visited the Freinet schools in Benin, but unfortunately, this authorization has been renewed ...

Movement participants are responsible for teaching units (group of teachers in the same area who meet regularly in a year) and use these meetings to take things forward and share their experiences. More and more teachers are seeking information on techniques for Freinet. Thanks to this strong commitment, the movement continues and continues its journey through the roads of Benin!

A large amount of energy released in the service of a teaching method that represents a response to the challenges of the world and its people wherever they are!