Boussé, Kourweogo – Burkina Faso
SPONSORING OF PUPILS IN PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS
THE CONTEXT OF YOUR INITIATIVE
The public primary schools in Guesna and Tangsèghin are based in the commune of Boussé, in Kourwéogo province and they are part of the catchment area of Boussé.
Low school attendance is rising in rural areas, the reasons behind this may include the lack of purchasing power of the farmers who make up a large part of the population in the countryside.
The farmers make their money from animal and vegetable farming but the conditions for farming are becoming increasingly fragile – rains are rare and climate change has led to poor harvests and, as a consequence, lower income. The majority of their children are famished and in most families only one rationed meal is served per day, generally at sundown.
Because of these factors and the lack of support the following questions need to be answered: who will pay for the children’s education, school equipment, clothes, food, etc.? What is the level of responsibility of the parents? The realities in these families are very diverse.
The lower the amount of financial involvement (or in-kind contributions) from society the higher the likelihood that children will not succeed at school.
This situation has led us to think about the conditions for primary school pupils – domestic solutions have been implemented but they are not yet sufficient, as is the case for the canteens.
Having heard about ‘domestic solutions’ the ESO association committed to supporting a domestic canteen* in schools as well as ‘domestic’ payment of school fees (APE*** and AME*** costs), equipment costs, school uniform costs, etc.
This idea was taken on board very quickly in the villages. Later on, during the visit to ESO organised as part of the BBF (Bosnia-Burkina-France) partnership, the initiative was shown to our friends and FIS committed to supporting it.
*The internal canteen is a system which relies on the parents of the pupils to feed the children at school just like they do at home
**APE – The Parents’ Association
***AME – The Mothers’ Association
THE ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT AS PART OF YOUR INITIATIVE
This initiative is part of our social support activities and helps the pupils in Guesna and Tangsèghin by:
– ensuring each pupil has at least one meal per day at school on weekdays which helps the pupils concentrate during lessons. This can be assured thanks to the supplies from the domestic canteen and is a reason why some pupils can stay in school
– covering the school costs (APE and AME costs). This activity helps parents register their children in schools – without this solidarity many of these children could clearly not go to school
– providing school materials (pens, classbooks, bags, toys, etc.) for pupils and teaching materials for staff
– providing school uniforms
– monitoring and evaluating the results of the pupils who are involved in the initiative
This initiative has the following goals:
– to help the pupils concentrate in class
– to reduce the number of absences
– to reduce the drop-out rate
– to increase the rate of attendance and the rate of completion of education
– to ensure improved physical and nutritional health for the pupils
WHO IS INVOLVED FROM OUR GROUP?
This initiative is mainly led by ESO with support from the BBF partnership – the FIS group in particular is very committed to developing collective awareness and a spirit of sharing to help underprivileged families cover the costs of their children’s education themselves.
WHICH PARTNERS ARE YOU WORKING WITH ON THIS INITIATIVE?
This action has:
– improved the quantity and quality of education provided to children in the target areas, leading to an increase in the enrolment rate in these villages
– increased the level of success in exams; with the new canteen the pupils now concentrate better during classes
– increased the attendance levels of pupils
– reduced absenteeism
– reduced the drop-out level
– improved physical and nutritional health for the pupils
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANY INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INITIATIVE?
WHAT ARE YOUR PROSPECTS?
– Training on how to monitor and assess as well as IT equipment to help us make the most of our activities
– Extra resources to be used in other primary schools
– Adding a training programme about agricultural techniques, supported by the creation of a vegetable garden for the pupils to be used for educational and nutritional purposes
– Continuous training for the teachers in the primary schools