A day in the life of an educational planner from Madagascar

25 July 2022

Solo Rakotosoa, from Madagascar, works in the Technical Coordination Unit of the three Ministries in charge of education. She is also responsible for gender and the action plan for the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Education. Recently, she has also been a participant in the IIEP-UNESCO training course, Educational Sector Planning (ESP). Find out how this experienced official and graduate of computer engineering, manages to combine her multiple professional responsibilities and her training aspirations for the future of education in Madagascar.

9 a.m.

Solo Rakotosoa arrives at her office in the Anosy district of central Antananarivo, where most of Madagascar's Ministries are located. It's going to be a busy day, with several overlapping meetings. She will also need to find time to make progress on the ESP training activities.

10 a.m

Every Tuesday morning, a meeting is organized with the team of the technical coordination unit, known as the CELCO team. Within this technical unit, Rakotosoa is in charge of coordinating the work plan of the Ministry of National Education (MEN), the Ministry of Employment, Technical Education and Vocational Training and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Currently, Rakotosoa is leading the preparation of the financial report of the review of the implementation of Madagascar’s Education Sector Plan.

In a meeting with Lova Ravelomanana, another collaborator of CELCO, from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

1 p.m.

Rakotosoa meets her international colleagues from the ESP course on the IIEP-UNESCO Global Campus. Every week, some 40 participants from 21 countries meet by videoconference with the IIEP specialists in charge of coordinating this course.

The training started in December 2021 and will last eleven months in total. Solo Rakotosoa has just obtained the participation badge for the second module of the ESP course. This means that she has completed all the required activities and assessments on time – 75 and 80 hours of learning during three months. Focused on education policies, this second module addressed, among other things, the benefits and limitations of certain education policies aimed at increasing equitable and inclusive access to education - and at improving the quality of education.

Training with IIEP

This is not the first time Solo has attended a training course with IIEP. In 2016, she travelled to IIEP in Paris a couple of weeks for the specialized course on "Micro-planning and school mapping". Shortly after, she was appointed Head of the school mapping department at the Ministry of Education. Two years later, she joined the 12e class of the IIEP-UNESCO Office for Africa’s training course in Sectoral Policies and Management of Education Systems (PSGSE), from which she graduated 14 months later. In 2020, she also successfully completed the Gender of the Centre Initiative's Gender Responsive Education Planning course, and is now a member of the resulting Gender in Education Community of Practice.

"For many years I have wanted to become an expert in educational planning. It is a very broad subject, which requires a lot of knowledge," explains Rakotosoa. In Madagascar, the current Education Sector Plan will end by the end of 2023. The new Education Sector Analysis (State Report on the National Education System - RESEN) is currently being prepared. "I am confident that this IIEP course will allow me to actively participate in the sector analysis and the development of the next Plan," she adds.

"I am confident that the IIEP's Education Sector Planning course will enable me to actively participate in the development of Madagascar's next Education Sector Plan."
Solo Rakotosoa

3 p.m.

Rakotosoa joins a meeting dedicated to the software project that CELCO wishes to develop, with the support of the Technical Assistants of the Common Education Fund. As Coordinator of the annual work plan, this software tool will allow her to facilitate the budgeting of the action plan, to monitor the objectives and implementation of activities, and to manage the relationship with technical and financial partners. Her training in computer engineering coupled with her expertise in educational planning and management will be invaluable in moving this project forward. 

She then joins a preparatory meeting for the Transforming Education Summit to be held in September 2022, convened by the UN Secretary General at the occasion of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

5 p.m.

Back at her office, Rakotosoa wants to take time to look at her gender cases. Following a meeting with the Ministry of Population, Social Protection, and the Promotion of Women, she must make corrections to documents and review the gender budget of the Triennial Action Plan 2022. She then proposes adjustments to a Safaidis-SADC project, which aims to provide responses to sexual violence among young people in Southern Africa.

"Solo Rakotosoa likes challenges and being involved in new projects. His thirst for knowledge and his proactivity during training sessions are qualities that one rarely meets."
Directorate of Educational Planning, Ministry of Education, Madagascar

8.30 p.m.

Rakotosoa is enjoying the quiet of her home to complete her homework for the ESP course. Tonight, she has to write a commentary and react to her peers' contribution, as part of the module dedicated to equity in education. "I try to organize myself to log on to the training platform every day, when my internet connection allows it. As the training is online, I save a lot of time," she concludes.

Solo Rakotosoa's professional career in ten key dates

  • 2002 - Graduated from the Polytechnic School of Antananarivo.
  • 2004 - Recruited as a Computer Scientist in the Directorate of Information Technology of the Ministry of Education of Madagascar.
  • 2011 - Transferred to the school mapping department of the Regional Directorate of National Education of the Diana region.
  • 2013 - Appointed as a Research Officer in the school mapping and micro-planning department of the Ministry of Education.
  • 2016 - Participation in the IIEP specialized course "Microplanning and school mapping" in Paris.
  • 2017 - Promoted to Head of School Mapping of the MEN. Responsible for the project to improve the schools’ promotion rate.
  • 2019 - Graduate of the 12e promotion of the training in Sectoral Policies and Management of Education Systems (PSGSE) of IIEP-UNESCO Dakar.
  • 2018 - Appointed Collaborator in CELCO, the Technical Unit of the Education Sector Coordination.
  • 2020 - In charge of gender and the annual action plan within the General Secretariat of the MEN; In charge of data on the insertion and reintegration of pupils within the General Directorate of Education.
  • 2021 - Appointed African Union/CIEFFA gender focal point. Certified in Gender Responsive Planning by IIEP-UNESCO Dakar and member of the Community of Practice on Gender in Education (CPGE) of the Gender at the Centre Initiative.