Study funding can improve accessibility vocational training Mali
by Paul Sutmuller on 19 January, 2014

Mali was one of the fastest growing economies in Africa , but the civil war of 2011-2012 in neighboring Ivory Coast (with the major port of Abidjan) and the civil war in the country itself from 2012 to 2013 have thrown back the country’s development for several years. The civil war was mainly in the north of Mali, the south felt more the consequences of the war than the war itself. The average income is € 54 per month while but prices have doubled, and education did become more expensive as well. In Bamako there is no lack of educational institutions, including for professional or vocational training.


Mali1 Paul visited Mali from 13 to 19 January 2014 and in particular three vocational training centers, and he was impressed by the quality.


On the other hand, accessibility could be improved; students who graduated from lower secondary school with good marks can obtain a scholarship from the government to finance their vocational training. But less gifted students will not be elibible for this scholarship. For them vocational trainings are often too expensive to pay themselves. Individual studyfunding by the Van Doorn Foundation could help!


The Centre de Formation Technique Quinzambougou (CFTQ) in Bamako is a private secondary technical school and provides two- year courses to become electrician, administrative assistant or assistant bookkeeper, and four-year training for electrical-mechanic, construction draftsman, executive secretary or bookkeeper.Centre De Formation Technique Quinzambougou

According to Mamadou Diallo, director, the school has about 700 students, of which 400 obtained a scholarship from the government. For the remaining 300 their parents have to pay the school fees. School fees, depending on the course, are between € 140 and € 230 per year which is only affordable for students from middle class and above families. The drop- out rate among the students whose parents have to pay for their school fees is high.


Impressive - Formations sans Frontières (FSF) has the objective to make knowledge in vocational training from developed countries available to vocational training in developing countries (vocational training without borders).

Allain Sossah from FSF explains that since 2009 the organization works with and is based in the Don Bosco Centre Père Michel, and develops teaching materials and appropriate technologies that are adapted to current (modern) requirements and needs. For people from outside the capital a program of ‘distance learning’ has been developed, with theoretical knowledge being acquired via internet and only practicum requires a visit to the Don Bosco center in Bamako. FSF is a non - government organization, run by professionals who have their own profession / job and work for the organization primarily as volunteers.

Formations Sans Frontieres

The biggest challenge is to retain highly qualified trainers / researchers and the purchase of equipment for research and education material.

In short, a fantastic initiative. Cooperation and exchanges with universities that develop appropriate technologies and with an organization like ‘Saved Tools’ to acquire machinery and tools could mean a lot to them.


The Centre Père Michel in Bamako is a secondary technical school established by Don Bosco’s Father Michel in 1956. The center provides three-year courses for boys only (of 16 to 22 years old) to become car mechanic, electrician, metalworker or agricultural machinery mechanic. The current director, Father Filipe, explains that the school has 360 students with an average of 30 per class (12 classes).

A course costs about € 115 per year, two-third of CFTQ. The Don Bosco center focuses on students from low-income families and on students who were not necessarily the best in the class and therefore have no government scholarship.

Centre Père Michel


The drop-out rate is about 10% because these reduced school fees are for some still too expensive. The center has a good reputation, training qualified and skilled professionals, which means that failing the state exam but with a certificate from the center they are still ascertained of a job. Access to study financing will be a solution for many young people.

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