BUJUMBURA June 17th (ABP) – The Coalition for Education for All “Bafashebige” in collaboration with the organization “Raising voices for education in Africa” (IDAY), held a press conference on Wednesday as part of the celebration of the International African Child Day celebrated on June 16 of each year, as revealed in a joint press release.
The deputy chairman of the “Bafashebige” Coalition, Mr Cassien Gashirahamwe, noted that the two organizations celebrated that day under the theme: “Thirty years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa conducive to children”. What about access to basic education in Burundi as we celebrate this day?
During that press conference, Mr. Gashirahamwe said that progress is remarkable. In that regard, based on figures available from 2017, he pointed out that parity between girls and boys has been observed since 2009 with a rate of 11.6%, with disparities at the level of the provinces, of which 7 out of 18 register rates above 10%, where the City of Bujumbura comes first with 47.3%. This parity between girls and boys has been observed in basic schools since 2009. That parity has not been achieved at the level of the general and teacher-training post-basic level, and technical A2 post-basic level. According to the same press release, Burundi devotes more than 20% of its expenditure to education. The two organizations pleaded for special attention to be paid to dropouts among girls at the post-basic level.
Based on the 2017 data available, the 2 organizations noted that despite the efforts made, challenges remain. Mr. Gashirahamwe reported about 2 / 5ths, or 38.8%, of children and adults aged 4 to 19 were out of school, or a total of 1,987,432, believing that the phenomenon is more pronounced twice in rural areas with 40.5% than in urban areas with 23.7%.
In their joint press release, the “Bafashebige” Coalition and the “IDAY” organization called on the government to make basic education compulsory and free, make school supply kits available for children from vulnerable families, adapt school infrastructure for children living with disabilities. The government was also asked, among other things, to place the issue of children and adults outside of school among the top priorities of the State and to strengthen the school feeding program in partnership with its partners without forgetting to mobilize internal financing of education.
To partner organizations in education, “Bafashebige” and “IDAY” called for taking those recommendations into account to redefine their intervention strategies. To civil society, it was recommended to involve community leaders in awareness raising activities. As for the media, they were called upon to significantly increase the volume of media productions on the theme of children’s rights and the right to quality education.