Les Etats Généraux de l'Éducation :"Building an efficient education system for a better future"

From 14 to 16 June 2022, les Etats Généraux de l'Éducation were held in Bujumbura organized by the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research

Elisa Revert Santamaria and Odette Kwizera
Education
UNICEF-Burundi/E.R.Santamaria
14 June 2022

These meetings brought together, for 3 days, more than a hundred actors of the education system in Burundi, including parliamentarians, members of the Government, representatives of the diplomatic and consular corps accredited to Burundi, student representatives, trade unions and parents.

The opening ceremony was presided by the Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, H.E. Ir Prosper Bazombanza, on behalf of the Head of State, with the Minister of National Education and Scientific Research, Dr François Havyarimana, the Mayor of the City of Bujumbura, CP Jimmy Hatungimana, and the UNICEF Representative in Burundi, Mr John Agbor, who represented the UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi on this occasion. 

The Vice-President of the Republic, H.E. Ir Prosper Bazombanza, addressing a speech on behalf of the Head of State
UNICEF-Burundi/E.R.Santamaria
The Vice-President of the Republic, H.E. Ir Prosper Bazombanza, addressing a speech on behalf of the Head of State

For H.E. Ir Prosper Bazombanza, the holding of this edition constitutes a platform for in-depth exchanges on the education system: "these meetings correspond to an effective commitment of the Burundian
‘’Government to rethink its education system in depth", he added, as well as assuring that the Government will spare no effort to respond positively to the needs of the education sector in proportion to the resources of the State.

The UNICEF Representative in Burundi, Mr. John Agbor, focused his speech on 3 main messages: he first addressed a message of congratulations and encouragement to the government of Burundi which, despite the multiple challenges, continues to invest 20% of its national budget to the education sector for almost a decade. He then expressed the need to make a thorough diagnosis, based on the evidence, in order to find the right treatment for education in Burundi, before calling for the raising funds for education.   

UNICEF Representative in Burundi, John Agbor (centre) with representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited to Burundi. Photo right: UNICEF Representative in Burundi addresses the meeting on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi.
UNICEF-Burundi/E.R.Santamaria
UNICEF Representative in Burundi, John Agbor (centre) with representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited to Burundi. Photo right: UNICEF Representative in Burundi addresses the meeting on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi.
UNICEF Representative in Burundi, John Agbor (centre) with representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited to Burundi. Photo right: UNICEF Representative in Burundi addresses the meeting on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi.
UNICEF-Burundi/E.R.Santamaria

Mr. John Agbor was also pleased that the legitimate ambition of les Etats Généraux de l'Éducation is to identify and find solutions to the many challenges that hinder the sector's development [...]. "They constitute a strategic moment of reflection which, I am sure, will be used to rethink the education system in depth to enable it to play its full role in the knowledge economy that is leading the 21st century," he said.  

On his side, the Minister of National Education and Scientific Research, Dr. François Havyarimana, recalled that these meetings are held as a continuation of those organized in 2014 and that several challenges still remain despite the various reforms recently undertaken by the Ministry of National Education.  As such, he added, les Etats Généraux de l'Éducation aim to rethink the Burundian education system in depth.

After an introductory presentation on the evaluation of the implementation of the recommendations of les Etats Généraux de l'Éducation, 2014 edition, a series of presentations and exchanges followed around themes such as the organization of curriculums facing the employability of young graduates of the Burundian education system; guidance of the education system to improve the quality of education in the public and private sectors ; promotion and management of technical education and vocational training ; student flow management and human resource management ; the management of school and university infrastructure and facilities ; funding for education ; the relevance of scientific research to innovation and its contribution to the country's development. A debate was also given to the perception and vision of Burundian youth towards an education system that provides employment and opportunities. 

View of the participants in the Education General States.
UNICEF-Burundi/E.R.Santamaria
View of the participants in the Education General States.
UNICEF-Burundi/E.R.Santamaria

les Etats Généraux de l'Éducation are being held a few weeks before the pre-summit of the World Transforming Education Summit scheduled for the end of this month in Paris, to which Burundi has been invited. The conclusions of these three days of intense exchanges and work on Education will definitely contribute to the preparation of the pre-summit.