In Burkina Faso, nearly one million children were unable to have a normal school reopening on October 2, 2023, due to the closure of nearly 25% of the country’s schools. These closures are linked to insecurity in certain areas of Burkina Faso. In response to this situation, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is concerned but is attempting to mitigate the effects by distributing radios for remote learning.
In Burkina Faso, the school year began on October 2, 2023, with 3.8 million children heading to primary and secondary schools. However, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is concerned about nearly one million children who cannot attend school due to violence and insecurity in the country, explains Emilie Roye, UNICEF’s Education Chief in Burkina Faso.
“There are still 6,000 schools closed, which represents about 25% of the country’s schools,” she said. “In the current context, insecurity prevents the opening of some schools because civil servants, such as teachers, cannot reach their posts. In other cases, insecurity has forced the displacement of a large number of the population, with some villages completely emptied. So, the schools that were there are now closed because the population has left. And the population has not always gone to places where there are accessible schools.”
She continues: “There are also parents, especially in rural areas, who are afraid to send their children to walk to school. The climate of insecurity affects the children’s ability to get to school and the ability of teachers to reach their posts in different regions.”