Niger: a fire in a school again exposes the risks of hut classes

The remains of a burnt school in the Pays-Bas district of Niamey in April 2021. Hut schools pose a greater fire risk.

(illustration photo) © Moussa Kaka/RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

This is unfortunately not the first time that such a tragedy has occurred in Niger.

Three students died in the fire in their hut class in Zinder on Monday, February 6.

Constructions built from wood and thatch and which are multiplying in the country despite the bans announced by the authorities.


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Mohamed Bazoum

keeps repeating it: "

education is his priority


The Head of State took it "

in his right hand

", as we say in Niger.

Increase in the schooling rate, population growth: every year, 500,000 children start primary school.

In Zinder, in the south of Niger, the fire of a class in a straw hut caused the death of three students on Monday February 6.

This new drama highlights

the recurring problem of these precarious constructions


If hut classes are banned in town, they are still necessary to educate everyone.

For Lawali Issoufou, the secretary general of the Union of Teachers of Niger, it is therefore essential to do prevention.

We must put security measures in place, in particular by hiring guards

," he said.

But also by raising the awareness of students, parents of students and their entire community, neighborhoods... So that everyone can put their hand in monitoring and vigilance



A long-term project

If the authorities have launched a vast school construction project, the government spokesperson recognizes that the site is huge and will take time.

Tidjani Idrissa Abdoulkadri also highlights the need to ensure better security in the establishments: “ 

It is obvious that the reduction of these classes in straw huts will take us a few more years

Until then, we will have to continue to teach children and the government's wish is that there be more attention, much more surveillance to avoid these tragedies.


36,000 hut classes were counted in April 2022 in Niger.

Despite the risks, the "

stem classes

", as the elders call them, remain an essential tool to ensure good schooling.

► To read also:

 The challenges of the school year which begins in Niger


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  • Niger

  • Education

  • mohamed bazoum