Burkina Faso: before the start of the school year, a tense security situation for schools

In Burkina Faso, it's back to school next week, on October 2. A total of 6,000 schools have closed because of attacks by jihadist groups, according to the NGO Action Education. The situation is dramatic for the youngest.

A primary school in Dori, a town in northeastern Burkina Faso (Illustration image). OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT / AFP

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The international NGO Action Éducation is trying to maintain access to education in areas where internally displaced people are arriving. More than 1 million children are affected. "I'm talking about 12- to 15-year-olds, who have never set foot in school, and indeed their younger siblings who still haven't set foot in school, who have never learned to read, who have never learned to write," says Vanessa Martin, advocacy officer at the organization.


One of the sworn enemies of these jihadist groups is education, school, knowledge. It must be understood that these children who have been living in seclusion for years in fear of jihadist attacks or sometimes having already witnessed or victimized, are totally traumatized, "says the humanitarian.

Serious violations of rights


We are talking about serious violations of children's rights as identified by the United Nations Council. These children who are not in school today, they do not have many choices to survive. Let's be honest. Young girls will be married, raped, victims of sexual violence, young boys will most often be recruited by jihadist forces.


And the humanitarian concludes: "I want to tell you, necessarily, what other choice do they have? These young people, these children, today have no means of survival, no hope. The situation is urgent to an invaluable degree.


See alsoBurkina: more than 6000,<> schools are now closed because of insecurity

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  • Burkina Faso
  • Education
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