CTF’s International Program: En français, s’il vous plaît!

By Brigitte Bergeron
March 18, 2016

A little bit of history…

CTF’s proud history of development cooperation in education is more than 50-year long. In a news release dated June 22, 1962, CTF announced:

Two widely experienced and highly qualified Canadian teachers, Miss Ruth N. (Penny) Banks (Saskatchewan) and F. Clarke MacDonald (Ontario), will join hands with 40 Nigerian teachers this summer in a pilot project aimed at training 1,000 young Nigerian teachers at the University of Nsukka. It is believed to be the first privately-financed Canadian project designed to help a new African country upgrade its educational system.

With this 1962 pilot project, CTF’s International Program was born! Over the years, the International Program team has worked in partnership with national teacher organizations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America to improve access to quality publicly funded education for all.

In fact, thanks to the support of its Member organizations, CTF has allowed over 2,000 Canadian teachers to follow in MacDonald’s and Banks’ footsteps by participating in more than 3,000 missions and projects. Many of these took place in Francophone countries starting in 1963, when a first contact was established with the Syndicat national des enseignants du Niger.

Project Overseas 2013 - Guinea

CTF’s International Program called Teachers’ Action for Learning includes three components: Teachers’ Action for Teaching, which focuses on teacher professional development; Teachers’ Action for Teacher Organizations, which is aimed at strengthening the capacity of partner organizations; and Teachers’ Action for Gender Equality, which includes activities designed for national teacher organizations as well as support for regional women’s networks in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. This component also provides support to various girls’ education initiatives. The table below provides a list of Francophone countries where CTF contributed to initiatives related to these three components since the creation of its international program.

Current situation…

The International and Social Justice Program team is currently working with three Francophone countries: Togo, Burkina Faso and Haiti. Through Project Overseas 2016, 12 teachers from across the country, divided into three teams, will travel to these countries to provide support, in French, to partner organizations in the delivery of teacher professional development sessions. It is anticipated that more than 300 French speaking teachers will benefit from the Canadian teams’ expertise in these three countries, in July 2016. Moreover, CTF entered into talks with its partners in these countries to explore ways to support them in other areas in 2016-2017.

Project Overseas 2014 - Togo

Through a consortium with Education International, Lärarförbundet (Sweden) and Utdanningsforbundet (Norway), CTF provided funding to the African Women in Education Network. Several countries where French is widely spoken are part of this network, including Burkina Faso, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Chad.

Also, CTF is represented on the Comité syndical francophone de l’éducation et de la formation, a network of unions representing education and training personnel from countries of the Francophonie. This network deals with a variety of issues pertaining to education and the Francophonie.

CTF is proud to be able to collaborate with both English-speaking and French-speaking partners around the world. The opportunity to work in these two languages, widely used in the Southern hemisphere, makes CTF unique internationally and continues to be an added value not only for CTF but also for its Member organizations and international partners!

Partnerships in Francophone countries

Francophone country Year
Benin 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996
Burkina Faso 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016
Cameroon 1966, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
Central African Republic (Central African Empire) 1968, 1969
Congo 1982, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1989, 1991
Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) 1966, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
Guinea 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,
Haiti 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Ivory Coast 1975, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988,
Mali 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991,1992
Niger 1963, 1966, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1990
Rwanda 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990
Senegal 1975, 1976
Togo 1967, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Brigitte Bergeron is the Director of the CTF International and Social Justice Program.

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Perspectives web magazine is published by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent over 238,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada.

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