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Security situation in Burkina Faso forces around 400 new school closures

Security situation in Burkina Faso forces around 400 new school closures
All schools closed in some municipalities, says country's education minister

By Aurore Bonny

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - Authorities in Burkina Faso held a meeting Monday with governors, mayors and other officials to address school closures and reviewed the national education strategy in emergency situations, local media reported.

"We unfortunately now have 2,682 schools that were closed since the beginning of the year. Last year, we had at the end of the 2020-2021 school year 2,244. So we have around 400 more schools that have closed," local media outlet Burkina24 quoted Education Minister Stanislas Ouaro as saying.

The reason for the closures is a lack of security, according to authorities.

Ouaro added that the situation remains worrying, even if some schools managed to reopen last year with the support of the defense and security forces.

The reopening of these schools has encouraged the return of about 87,000 students and the enrolment of 107,000 internally displaced students in more secure areas, he said.

Ouaro also indicated that Burkina Faso currently has municipalities where all schools are closed.

To help remedy the situation, the government has provided school kits and is building "additional infrastructure in areas where internally displaced students are being hosted," he added.

He also cited financial resources provided to municipalities to acquire food for school canteens as well as the minimum supplies for primary school pupils.

Regarding students in high-risk security zones, he said his department had an emergency education curriculum for three years now.

"These are minimum curricula that we deploy over four months for students who cannot do the nine months of schooling. This is to reassure you that nothing is lost for those for whom schools are closed. And we will continue the work as we did last year," he said.

Burkina Faso is one of the Sahel countries plagued by insecurity caused by terrorism. More than 1.2 million people have been displaced by the violence, 61% of them children, a tenfold increase over the past three years, according to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report released in July 2021.

source: News Feed
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