In Burkina Faso, million private school students because of jihadist attacks

According to the NGO Save the Children, 5,709 schools are closed due to terrorist offensives, especially in the north and east of the country.

mo12345lemonde with AFP

More than 5,700 schools were closed in Burkina Faso due to the security situation marked by jihadist attacks, depriving a million students of access to education, alerted the NGO Save the Children on Wednesday.

“Burkina has just crossed the dramatic bar of one million children affected by the closing of schools due to the security crisis”, wrote the NGO in a press release, adding that 5,709 schools are closed. It is twice as much as the figures announced by the government at the start of the year.

Since 2017, Islamist armed groups have been targeting teachers and schools in Burkina Faso, invoking their opposition to Western education and government institutions. “These closures represent around 22 % of the educational structures of Burkina Faso. They affect 1,008,327 students,” said the NGO, which cites the last report of the Technical Secretariat for Emergency Education, a government body.

More than 28,000 teachers assigned 2>

According to the Ministry of Education, more than 28,000 teachers are also affected by these school closings. “For the time being, and given the urgency, it is essential for rulers, donors and the humanitarian community to find and finance immediate alternative solutions to mitigate the risks linked to this situation,” said the director in Burkina Faso de Save the Children, Benoit Delsarte, believing that it is a “dramatic situation”.

“In addition to depriving children of their right to education and intellectual development, the closure of classes exposes them to many other risks which definitively compromise their well-being and their future”, he underlined.

For more than seven years, Burkinabé civilians and soldiers have been regularly bereaved by increasingly frequent jihadist attacks, especially in the north and east of the country, having left thousands of deaths and forced some 2 million people to flee their homes.

Invested on October 21, president of the transition by the Constitutional Council, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, author of a military coup on September 30 against Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, gave himself the goal “The reconquest of the territory occupied by hordes of terrorists”. It was the second coup in Burkina Faso in eight months when the putschists invoked each time the deterioration of the security situation.

/Media reports cited above.