Minister of National Education Engages with Stakeholders in Fada N’Gourma Amidst Security Crisis

FADA N’GOURMA – In a significant meeting held on Friday, March 29, 2024, Sosthène Dingara, the Minister of National Education and Literacy, Promotion of National Languages (MENAPLN), engaged with key education stakeholders in the Eastern region’s city of Fada N’Gourma, addressing the impact of ongoing security challenges on the sector.

According to Burkina Information Agency, Minister Dingara’s visit aimed to address firsthand the educational challenges exacerbated by the region’s security crisis, which has led to widespread school closures and a sharp decline in educational indicators. The minister outlined the dual objectives of these regional engagements: to bolster morale among educators persisting under difficult conditions and to communicate the government’s strategy for an educational transition, focusing on holistic development and innovation.

During the discussions, Minister Dingara highlighted specific departmental challenges, such as managing teachers’ careers, digitalizing education, reforming the educational framework to foster independent thinking and practical skills, and leveraging national languages to enhance social cohesion. Moreover, he addressed potential enhancements in organizing competitions and improving school canteen services.

Local education leaders provided a stark overview of the crisis’s impact, noting a dramatic drop in the gross enrollment rate across various educational levels. Despite the reopening of numerous educational institutions and the re-enrollment of thousands of students, a significant number of children remain out of school.

The visit also served as a platform for local stakeholders to voice their concerns and needs, ranging from infrastructure development to the establishment of IT facilities and medical centers within schools. Charife Kima, the student representative from Yendabili regional vocational high school, and Yentéma David Thiombiano, the regional director of primary education, both expressed appreciation for the minister’s initiative and emphasized its positive effect on their commitment to education amid adversity.

The engagement in Fada N’Gourma underscores the government’s recognition of education as a pivotal sector, even in regions plagued by security issues, and its commitment to sustaining educational access and quality in the face of such challenges.