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Award ceremony in Niger

Thomas Buettner, GTZ expert for primary education and project leader of the Makaranta in Niger, describes the complicated process of choosing the prizewinners there.

The first three winners

"I was supported by three experts from Niger who only received a per diem allowance for expenses at the start of our activities; for the rest of the time they worked on a strictly volunteer basis. Seven Nigrian and foreign experts participated in choosing the winners of the competition.

1000 of the 3000 questionaires sent out were completed and returned. The first two stages of choosing the finalists took place in the departmental and regional level and lay solely in the hands of the Nigrian school administration and other local authorities. 7 candidates (4 urban and 3 rural schools) were nominated from the 8 regions, and I visited each of them without advance warning. In this way we acquired important additional information."

The first prize was awarded to the rural primary school in Toudouni (Arrondissement Tahoua), the second (the "prix d'encouragement", the encouragement prize) to a rural school near Maradi and the third to an urban school in Niamey. The prizes totaled to 500000, 350000 and 150000 FCFA (approx. $750, $525 and $225). The official award ceremony took place at the end of March in 2003.