As the new school year begins in Burkina Faso, a troubling situation unfolds. UNICEF reports that one out of every four schools, which is about 6,150 schools, remains closed due to ongoing violence and insecurity in parts of the country (Source: UNICEF). This means that around one million children are unable to go to school, and they face many dangers because of this.
Over 31,000 teachers and more than one million children can’t return to their classrooms because they’re worried about their safety. Sadly, over 230+ schools are now being used as shelters for more than 52,000 people who had to leave their homes due to the violence. This makes it even harder for many children to get an education.
John Agbor, the UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso, says that it’s very upsetting to see so many children unable to go to school because of violence. He believes that every child in Burkina Faso should have the chance to get an education safely.
When violence breaks out in certain places, schools have to close, and children, teachers, and parents have to leave their homes to find safety. But, even with all these challenges, more than 3.8 million boys and girls are still going back to school. Including those in areas heavily affected by the violence.
The Ministry of National Education, Literacy, and Promotion of National Languages, together with UNICEF and other partners, is working hard to bring children back to school, especially in areas affected by the security crisis.
This year, UNICEF has helped around 763,000 children access education through various programs. They’ve given out over 150,000 school supplies and tools, and they’re providing support for teachers and schools. They’re also encouraging parents to send their children to school by training advocates to talk to parents about the importance of education.
However, the situation in Burkina Faso remains tough, with millions of people needing help, including over 3.2 million children affected by the conflict. UNICEF is trying to raise funds to provide essential aid to children and vulnerable people, but they’ve only received a small portion of the money they need so far. The challenges continue, and the needs are great.