CANP Mali 2011 was a success
Report on the first implementation of CANP "Capacity and Networking Programme in the Mathematical Sciences": School EDiMaths
The school EDiMaths, which is the first implementation of project CANP "Capacity and Networking Programme in the Mathematical Sciences", a joint program of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (
ICMI) and the International Mathematical Union (IMU) set up with the support of UNESCO and CIMPA, was held in the FAST (Faculty of Science and Technology), University of Bamako from 18 to 30 September 2011. It referred as planned capacity building of teaching mathematics and mathematics teacher educators in the sub-region of Francophone West Africa, paying particular attention to the specific regional context, the strengthening of connections and collaborations between different communities involved in the training of teachers: mathematics, didactics, teacher trainers from secondary schools, inspectors ... and the creation of a regional network of trainers whose activities are intended to continue beyond the EDiMaths only school.
The school concerned as planned five countries in the sub-region: Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Niger, for which national contacts were identified. Benin has also sent a representative. Participation requests had been received from citizens of other Francophone countries (Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar), but uncertainties about the school budget failed to respond positively to such requests.
The initial project included the funding of about forty participants: 20 from the host country and 5 for each of the other four countries. The selection of participants in each country was made in consultation between the national contacts, the inspectorate and teacher training institutions. This selection has not caused problems, school EDiMaths having, upon its announcement, aroused great interest and national contacts have played their role perfectly. Furthermore, according to our demands, a special effort was made to include the various communities involved in the formation. To the participants in the sub-region are to add the six lecturers French scientific committee members, the local members that have occurred as trainers, the national contacts who also acted as trainers, two invited african faculty members who developed the work on gender, and nine members of the local organizing committee. Finally the effective EDiMaths was composed of 61 persons.
The school was primarily the training of mathematics teachers of the second degree but, as had been hoped, many participants and trainers were also involved in the training of teachers of elementary school. Regarding the participants must be noted, however the large imbalance in the genre, no country in the sub-region having more than two participants and two of them, with the host country, had none.
The school program was developed by the Scientific Committee in consultation with the local organizing committee. In accordance with the philosophy of the program CANP, the Scientific Committee with eight members plus a representative of the ICMI consisted of a balanced academic mathematicians and educationalists, teachers and researchers of the North (in this case France) and the sub-region. The scientific program was organized around seven major themes: fundamental mathematics, contemporary mathematics, situations for class research, technology and mathematics education, cross-cutting themes relevant to regional priorities, building a professional community, promotion of mathematics.
ICMI has proposed to open a Moodle platform accessible to all participants of the school. Initially, in it will be available all documents that have been made to this school and additional resources posted by the trainers. It will also host the current version of the reports prepared for school. It will then serve as a forum between the participants of the school who are committed to continue to feed it by pooling their resources for teacher training. In addition a web page will be open for EDiMaths on the ICMI website where organizers of the school will be able to migrate documents which appear to deserve wider distribution.
The evaluation of EDiMaths was conducted using a questionnaire sent to participants and a debriefing session coordinated by Michèle Artigue. All but three participants meet that EDiMaths has reflected the philosophy of the program CANP and show their commitment to this philosophy. The reasons given to justify this position are primarily the composition of participants in school, the choice of themes and their management through the school and decisions taken to build a regional network. The few negative responses came from participants who feel that the school has not paid sufficient attention to regional specificities.
Achieving EDiMaths was made possible by the support of UNESCO, the International Mathematical Union, the ICMI, the International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA), the SCAC of the Embassy of France in Mali, Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble and substantial support from the Ministry of Education, Literacy and National Languages of Mali. In addition, the FAST University of Bamako has made freely available to EDiMaths, an amphitheater for the opening ceremony, a large room and a computer room for training and provided wireless internet access for participants. The trainers have also benefited from the reception in his office of the Department of Mathematics and a small adjoining office.
Michèle Artigue, Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 et ICMI