UNICEF in Bouna: A School and Quality Teachers for Post-crisis Education
By Parfait Kouassi
BOUNA, May 2007 – The ten schools or so rehabilitated and equipped by Unicef in the department of Bouna are attracting parents and school children. Thanks to the training given to the teachers by Unicef, the notions of peace and tolerance as well as the respect of authority have been introduced in schools thus giving hope for a less violent school in the future.
The public primary school in Niandegué village, (12 Km East of Bouna) registered 147 school children this year, against 114 last year.
“After its rehabilitation by Unicef, many parents have sent their children to our school”, affirms Alain Djekalé, the Headmaster of the village school.
The Niandegué school does not only have a new face, but also accredited teachers.
“Parents have more confidence in a school with accredited teachers”, explains Djékalé.
The quality of the education offered to children is a source of concern for Unicef, which launched the “Conducive Environment for Peace and Tolerance” project.
This project has helped to strengthen the pedagogical capacities of teachers, including volunteers, in basic skills (French and Arithmetic) as well as in everyday life skills.
“Training in life skills is very useful, as it enables us to better define the concepts of the respect of authority as well as peace and tolerance”, affirms Ouattara Gbanassé, the Headmaster of the Bromakoté-extension school.
Gbanassé is of the view that you teach better what you yourself have understood well. Moreover, “it is at a tender age that these notions should be introduced to children”, he declares.
His school is one of two schools that form together the Bromakoté school complex. This year, the two schools enrolled 534 children, against less than 250 in 2006.
The rehabilitation of this 12-classroom school, this year, has facilitated the education of about a hundred little girls.
Taking advantage of the lessons on peace and tolerance taught by their teachers, the school children have formed a Peace Messengers Club within the establishment.
“We intervene to settle arguments between our friends and we teach them how to be tolerant and peaceful”, affirms Yannick Toho, a 13-year old, member of the Club.
“A few days ago, a class 3 pupil was fighting with a class 2 pupil. We were called by the other school children and we separated them”, he says.
“We explain to the mistress what we see during the day and she tells us what to do”, explains Soro Oumar, the 9-year old President of the Club.
With the help of their supervisors, these school children have composed a song and a poem on peace and tolerance in the school. They will soon use them to sensitize their friends.
Already, several school children have an excellent image of the club and would have liked to be among their friends, who are members of the club.