28 January 2018

First, I would like to wish all of you a happy and healthy 2018.

I have been back in Burkina since a week.

Situation of education in Burkina 

I already mentioned in previous blogs that there were a lot of strikes in December from teachers for all levels of education (primary, secondary and university).

Because of the strike, no evaluations were done for the first trimester. Since the beginning of 2018, the teachers are at school but stop teaching for some hours per day. Still no evaluations have been done.

Teachers are asking for better pay and better working conditions. There is discussion between the ministry and the unions of teachers but so far, no concrete agreement. If no evaluations are done at the end of the second trimester, this will mean a blank year for all the students!!!!

If it comes to that, it will be a major chaos in Burkina.

The prime minister was working outside Burkina when he was called to become prime minister. His family is in England where he has a house (and one in the US also!). He has been living in an hotel in Ouagadougou since his appointment in July 2016. Now he comes on television saying that the teachers should have a patriotic drive (élan patriotique) and go back to work…….

I really hope that they will get their act together and find a solution which is good for the education of the children.

Distribution of books and large slates in primary schools

Books are normally distributed by the ministry of education. Unfortunately, schools only get a few books which is not enough to be taught properly. This is one of the claims of the unions. The funny part is that you can buy the books on the market at a price defined by the ministry of education. Where are those books coming from? From the ministry. Where does the money of selling the books  go to? I do not have the answer, but probably not in the accounts of the ministry. The places where we can buy the books are called “boutiques trottoir” (sidewalk shops).

We have been lucky to receive funds to equip the schools with books so that there is at least one book per 2 children. We also provide large slates (one per 5 children) which are used to study in groups outside the class. It is really rewarding to watch the happiness of the children and teachers when we delivered these items. This school year there are 3.240 children in the primary schools of the 11 villages where we are active.

Black Kite along the road

Joke from Burkina

A man comes home to his wife one day, saying that the government is giving 1.000 euro to families with 4 children.

They have only 3 children so the man tells his wife that he will go to retrieve a child he had with another woman. When he comes back there is only one child left at home. The man asked his wife what happened. She tells him that he was not the only man to have heard about the 1.000 euro.

Proverbs of the week

All fear is servitude.

Toute crainte est servitude.

The uncertainty of events is always more difficult to sustain than the event itself.

L’incertitude des événements est toujours plus difficile à soutenir que l’événement même.

Have a good week.

Hervé