Côte d'Ivoire

Students speak after taking their exams in the hardest-hit region of Côte d’Ivoire

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire/2006

NORTHERN ZONE, Côte d’Ivoire, 13 March 2006 – As more than 80,000 students complete final examinations that were delayed for two years by civil strife here, UNICEF has asked some of those directly affected to share their thoughts about this landmark event in their lives. The following reflections from four students and a school principal were collected by Paul Basikila, Marius Cassy and Antoinette Ahibet of UNICEF’s Côte d’Ivoire country office.

Abdoulaye Bakayoko Seba, 17, 12th grade, Lycée Moderne de Man
“The first year without our exams, the situation was catastrophic. It really plunged all my ambitions down the drain. I wanted to become a teacher. Imagine for a moment, your friends on the other side [outside the Northern Zone] with whom you went to school, they took their exams and moved on. But me, I’m lagging behind. Without my Baccalaureate, I can no longer go to university. There’s a deviation in my ambitions. I wanted to go elsewhere but I didn’t have the means. The next year when I found out that we wouldn’t have exams, I told myself that it was all over for me.”

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire/2006
Konate Ladji, 16, 9th grade, Lycée Moderne de Man
“I wanted to become a surgeon. When the exams of 2003-2004 were pushed back, I was desperate. In 2004-2005, again there weren’t any exams. I had all these regrets.”

 

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire/2006
Juste Harmonie Kouakou, 18, 8th grade, College Diawa
“I wanted to become a teacher. When we couldn’t take the exams in 2004, I became very discouraged because I had studied hard for them; they even gave us exam dates. I was really frustrated and mad at everyone. I’m not accusing the Minister, it wasn’t his fault. This time around, I didn’t even believe it. I’m soon taking my oral exams, but it’s only when I’ll get my results that I’ll believe it.”  

 

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire/2006
Golé Yvette Kone, 26, 12th grade, Lycée Moderne de Man
“I wanted to become a midwife because I feel comfortable with life sciences. The cancellation of the exams in 2004 really affected me. I was traumatized. That’s how I took it; we stayed without doing anything for a whole year. In 2005, there were no exams. I lost all hope; I didn’t have the means to enroll elsewhere. I lost my will to attend school and lost my ambitions. Today it was fine, I think it went well. Now, with this exam, becoming a midwife is something I believe in.”    

 

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire/2006

Yao Teki, Principal, Lycée Domoraud
“The exams were a great relief for us all! We told ourselves ‘they’re now thinking about us’. This is going to re-launch school activities in our zone. It was a click. Students called us from Abidjan to find out whether the examinations were really happening. Some came. Others didn’t. As to the level of success at these exams, we can’t expect too much except for some miracle, because some of the students don’t even have their notebooks.”


 

 

UNGEI website

The site of the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative
UNGEI banner
New enhanced search