Back to school campaign: More than 56,000 school kits distributed to children - UNICEF

20 October 2022
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OUAGADOUGOU, October 4th 2022 – UNICEF, with the support of its education partners, including King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), is implementing a National Back to School Campaign to promote the enrollment of pre-primary, primary, and secondary school children in a safe and protective quality school for the 2022-2023 school year.

« Despite the multi-dimensional challenges in the country, I am happy to see children back in school thanks to the mobilization of teachers and parents who are committed to ensuring that every child has access to quality education, » said Sandra Lattouf, UNICEF’s Representative in Burkina Faso. «UNICEF is supporting multiple efforts to reinforce the continuity of services in education, both in schools and in alternative education structures such as temporary learning spaces and through radio education. »

Burkina Faso is facing an education crisis, with a severe deterioration in access to education due to armed violence over the past few years. Education indicators have been declining since 2018, with the gross enrolment rate at primary level falling from 90.7 per cent to 86.1per cent and at post-primary level from 52 per cent to 47.3 per cent, a loss of 5 points in three years.

Significant disparities exist across the country. For example, in the Sahel region, which has been particularly affected by insecurity, the gross enrolment rate at primary level has fallen from 53.4% in 2018 to 20.3% in 2021. Thus, only one in four children were attending school the Sahel region in 2021, compared to one in two children in 2018.

As of 31 May 2022, more than 4,000 schools were closed due to insecurity, representing 17 per cent of schools nationwide, interrupting the education of more than 700,000 children. Furthermore, an estimated 2.6 million children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 are out of school, representing more than half of all school-age children (51.4 per cent) . Of these out-of-school children, one in two lives in conflict-affected areas.

« Girls and boys who are out of school not only have their education compromised, but are at greater risk of violence, exploitation, forced marriage and even recruitment by armed groups, » said Sandra Lattouf, UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso. «This is why, with our partners, we are providing support in terms of teacher training, teaching materials, school kits and the construction of new classrooms to accommodate displaced children. »

UNICEF has distributed 56,305 school kits throughout the country for the start of the new school year (worth more than US$240,000). In addition, 308 fully equipped classrooms (worth US$1 million) were made available which will benefit more than 150,000 pupils over the next 10 years.

"Investing in improving both access to and quality of education has been proven to provide a solid foundation for developing human capital and contributing to the country's goals of economic growth, social cohesion and development," said UNICEF Representative in Burkina Faso.

On the occasion of the Education Transformation Summit, which brought together world leaders in New York, USA, in September 2022,

UNICEF called on governments to take five urgent priority actions:

- Reaching every child and ensuring their return to the classroom.

- Identify and assess learning outcomes.

- Prioritise work on core subjects.

- Intensify remedial classes to fill gaps.

- Promote health and psychosocial well-being so that every child is ready to learn.

UNICEF will continue to strengthen efforts to promote school enrolment and retention through the mobilization of stakeholders in the education community and young U-Reporters who remain committed to conducting community awareness campaigns throughout the country. UNICEF will also provide support for access to improved water, hygiene and sanitation services in schools.

Despite efforts to mobilize resources for Burkina Faso’s Humanitarian Action for Children, the U$54 million appeal for emergency education is only 4 per cent funded. Urgent support is therefore required to enable UNICEF to accelerate efforts to ensure that every child learns.

Media contacts

Hadrien Bonnaud
Chef de la Communication
UNICEF Burkina Faso
Tel: +22666933132


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