Teachers and students in Burkina Faso forced to flee their schools

Photo credit: Aide et Action

Due to the insecurity linked to the terrorist threat in the East of Burkina Faso, many teachers and students are forced to flee their schools and even their villages. In order to overcome this situation and maintain a certain pedagogical continuity, Aide et Action is accompanying and supporting them in their displacement.

Ounténi Noula, headmaster of the primary school in Koulfo, eastern Burkina Faso, has been forced to flee his school for the 2020-2021 school year. The reason for this is that the terrorist threat, which is very strong in the area, does not allow for the continuation of traditional education. They were all taken care of by the local authorities and Aide et Action.

Particularly difficult teaching conditions

Through the project Ecole Eclairée centre de Ressources pour une Education de Qualité (EECREQ), developed in partnership with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Aide et Action is supporting students in the preparation of their end of year exams. Despite the difficult context, this year, an average of 60% students have passed the Primary School Certificate (CEP). This is the crucial step that opens the doors to secondary school. 

Helplessly facing the terrorists who dictate their law in several areas of Burkina Faso, the teachers are tense. The teaching conditions with overcrowded classrooms are not easy. But despite the risks, they are keen to educate their children to reduce the number of school dropouts and above all to avoid the risk of young people becoming potential recruits for terrorist groups. 

Fighting to keep children in the education system

I was the headmaster of the school in Koulfo. Following the attack on the village by terrorists, we closed the school last year. I have just been redeployed to Manni East school as headmaster, says Ounténi NOULA, Headmaster of Manni East Public Primary School. Aide et Action has given us a lot of support in terms of nutrition and health following the closure of the Koulfo school and the transfer of students to Manni for exams. We tried to get as many of our students as possible so that they would not drop out of the education system. Following the displacement of pupils to Manni, parents of pupils received threats to return the children to Koulfo. I personally received calls from parents of pupils asking us to let their children return to the village. I opposed this. We cannot sacrifice the future of our children. We stood our ground and they abandoned this demand. The children are with us in Manni and we are continuing the lessons. What is at stake today is the future of children. I encourage my colleagues to stay the course. If we give up, the children risk ending up in the hands of terrorists. Today, we have classes with more than 110 pupils. This is an exceptional situation that we are trying to manage as best we can to keep everyone in school. 

On the same theme :

Burkina Faso: freeing speech to combat gender inequality

Burkina Faso, free speech, raising awareness

On International Children's Rights Day (20 November), Action Education reminds us that being informed and participating are key to guaranteeing children's rights. In Burkina Faso, a number of the young girls we support are faced with numerous difficulties as soon as they start menstruating. The workshop we co-organised enabled them to look back at the inequalities and discrimination they suffer, and to show that speaking openly about taboos guarantees them access to their sexual and reproductive rights. 

Lire la suite

Children's rights : Vanessa Martin on 8 billion neighbours - RFI

rfi 8 billion neighbours

To mark International Children's Rights Day on 20 November, Emmanuelle Bastide gave the floor to Vanessa Martin, Head of Public Speaking and Advocacy at Action Education, on RFI's 8 milliards de voisins programme. On air, she stated that sub-Saharan Africa is one of the regions most affected in the world by attacks from non-state armed groups, targeting schools, children and educational staff. Faced with this security situation and these serious violations of children's rights, how can the resilience of the education system be strengthened? Discover the concrete example of the "Safe School" programme set up by UNICEF and Action Education in at-risk areas.

Lire la suite

Related projects :