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The Florida State University. (2004)

Community schools in Mali : A multilevel analysis

Capacci Carneal, Christine.

Titre : Community schools in Mali : A multilevel analysis

Auteur : Capacci Carneal, Christine.

Université de soutenance  : The Florida State University.

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2004

Community schools are alternative education strategies hailed in some circles as successful educational development endeavors. In Mali, support for community schools began in 1992 using nonformal education strategies to engage rural Malians in a three-year endeavor to provide literacy, numeracy, vocational, and life skills to children in rural areas with limited access to formal schools. Today there are over 1700 community schools in Mali offering the full primary cycle.

This study examines community schools in Mali from multiple standpoints to analyze various stakeholder understandings of and experiences with them from three separate, yet overlapping levels : international, national, and local. What are the notions and practices regarding community schools at each level ? Where do opinions of community schools converge and what are the differences in opinion at the various levels ? The community schools in Mali, in this study supported with the assistance of Save the Children/USA, serve as a case study to present an embedded and layered analysis of the various viewpoints attributed to community schools by different stakeholders.

The study includes an overview and examination of the nature and history of community schools in Mali based on analytical document reviews and field research done during the 1999–2000 academic year. Interpretive frameworks are considered to analyze why community schools are popular educational development strategies. The research contributes to a more integrated understanding of uses of and perceptions regarding community schools in Mali. At different levels diverse experiences exist regarding community schools. Results from the study include that communication between stakeholders at various levels is often challenging, that different ideas exist about what constitutes a “community” school, and that there is both harmony and disharmony in opinion regarding the direction of the community schools, particularly when referring to their ability to serve local versus national and international needs. Though community schools offer educational opportunities to marginalized children in Mali, there is debate over their purpose and ability to contribute to social change and development in rural, undeveloped areas. Paradoxically, though hailed for their “alternative” nature, community schools more often serve “traditional” education efforts and the international goal of achieving “education for all

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