Parental Preference and Religious Education

Religion, Social Demand, and Educational Reform in the Sahel

Led by: Prof Leonardo Villalón, Center for African Studies, University of Florida and Dr Mahaman Tidjani Alou, LASDEL, Niger, in collaboration with Dr. Abdourahmane Idrissa, Mamadou Bodian (Senegal), Ibrahim Yahya Ibrahim (Niger), and Issa Fofana (Mali).

Countries: Mali, Niger and Senegal

Theme: In formerly French-ruled countries in the Sahel, secular public education systems have been challenged by the popularity of Islamic schools which are outside the official state system and created largely in explicit response to the limitations of that system. This research examines current reforms in Niger, Mali and Senegal, which have in common an effort to adjust public provision to parental preferences regarding religious education.

By engaging in a comparative examination of the religion and education reform processes in these three countries, this work directly addresses issues about the "fit" between state institutions and African social and cultural realities which are at the heart of Africa Power and Politics research.

Research aim: The research considers:

  • any gains, in terms of educational attendance and performance, from ‘working with the grain' of local society in the educational sphere
  • the nature of any trade-offs between these outcomes and other policy goals concerning efficiency or equity in educational provision.

The Africa Power and Politics Programme was a Research Programme Consortium funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Irish Aid for the benefit of developing countries.
The views expressed on this website and in APPP's publications are those of the authors and should not be attributed to DFID or Irish Aid or any of APPP's member organisations.