[Resistances and initiatives in Madagascar].

  • C R Georges
  • Published 1993 in
    International review of education. Internationale…


Despite Madagascar's recognition of the importance of population education in changing fertility attitudes and behaviors as a step toward achieving development, population education in the country faces cultural, political and institutional resistance typical of Africa. Culturally, population education is offered in the context of a traditional educational system with a populationist ideology that favors uncontrolled fertility. Taboos concerning sexuality inhibit discussion of family planning. Loss of continuity in program development due to the frequent changes of government is a political obstacle to population education. Institutionally, the schools are by nature stable and homeostatic, offering resistance to innovations. Many teachers and administrators feel that topics included in population education such as sexuality and human reproduction are inappropriate for children. The objectives and techniques of population education, involving group work, nondirective educational techniques, and other innovations designed to encourage changes in attitudes and behaviors, are contradictory to the goals of teachers and administrators who seek to impose obedience, regularity, and discipline. Teachers in Madagascar typically have large classes and little time for lesson preparation. Few resources are available to provide the preliminary training that population education instructors need. An organizational structure responsible for implementing population education was formed as a first step in gaining official support. The 3-part organization included representatives of all the major geographic regions and categories of educational personnel. A permanent, full time technical team was recruited from the staff of the Ministry of Public Education, a scientific resource group comprised of experts in fields related to population education was assembled, and a group of collaborating teachers was formed to participate in training trainers, assist in testing new educational materials, and promote population education. The Association for the Promotion of Population Education in Madagascar has attempted to establish groups in the 112 subprefectures. Respect for the sociocultural values of the diverse ethnic groups in Madagascar is a guiding principle in determination of program content. The traditional desire for a large family as a sign of respect for the ancestors is examined in the light of current economic and demographic realities. Involvement of parents, teachers, and local officials in population education seminars counters the perception of population education as externally imposed. The cooperation of teachers is sought by involving them in program development and by assuring them that their autonomy will not be threatened by the new teaching approach to population education. The population education program seeks to cooperate with other development programs to maximize impact and minimize competition for scarce resources.

Cite this paper

@article{Georges1993ResistancesAI, title={[Resistances and initiatives in Madagascar].}, author={C R Georges}, journal={International review of education. Internationale Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft. Revue internationale de pédagogie}, year={1993}, volume={39 1-2}, pages={102-8} }