Real lives

Real lives


Parents at the forefront of their children’s education : Sarfalao F school in Bobo-Dioulasso

Parents at the forefront of their children’s education : Sarfalao F school in Bobo-Dioulasso

Asseta Kondombo is originally from the town of Bobo-Dioulasso but she moved to Sarfalao, a district of Bobo-Dioulasso 16 years ago. She has three two daughters and one son who attend the nearby Sarfalao F school.

Asseta is a strong believer in the value of education and she has noticed positive changes among the children who attend school. “The children are more intelligent and they are able to help their parents at home,” she states. Asseta’s humble home does not have running water or electricity, but so determined is she that her children continue their studies after school, that in the evenings she searches for a source of light for them to study.

When asked why she decided to send her children to school, Asseta replies, “You cannot progress in life without education. I would like my children to have opportunities and to be independent when they grow up.”The role of parents, especially mothers, in the education of the children in the community is central to the success and sustainability of Sarfalao F school. Neither Asseta nor her husband know how to read or write, yet their children are supported by other mothers who have received enough education to be able to follow the children’s progress. The children’s father also attends meetings with teachers at the school to know how his children are performing in class.

“When we were children my parents and my husband’s parents did not send us to school because they did not recognise the value of education,” she laments. “My husband and I wish we had been able to go to school. We have seen for ourselves the advantages of education and that is why we want our children to continue attending school.”

Asseta’s wish for her children as they grow is that they are able to reap the rewards of the education they have received. “I hope that my children are able to find employment when they finish school,” she says.

© UNICEF/Burkina Faso/2010/Tarpilga C.
Aidatou Sawadogo,15, getting ready for the children's drawing workshop

The couple’s eldest child is Aidatou Sawadogo, a 15 year old girl who attends Sarfalao F school. She enjoys learning and her favourite subjects are French, science and mathematics. When asked about her concept of a Child Friendly School Aidatou explains, “In a Child Friendly School children should have enough space to learn and play. I also think that there should be separate toilets for boys and girls like the ones we have at our school.”

Aidatou depicted her ideas through art during a children’s drawing workshop and contest which was held in Bobo-Dioulasso in June 2010. She was selected as one of the prize winners. Around 25 students from Sarfalao F school participated in the contest, illustrating their perceptions of a Child Friendly School through techniques which they had learned during the workshop.



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