Africa

2,500 schools closed in Burkina Faso after terrorist attacks

Since 2017, approximately 2,500 schools in Burkina Faso have been closed. As a result, 350,000 students receive no education. The closings came after regular attacks by jihadis, according to a report by human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, on Tuesday.

Islamic groups have been targeting teachers and schools in Burkina Faso since 2017. They are opposed to what they consider Western education and government agencies. The report, which is based on figures from the Ministry of Education, speaks of 2,500 closed schools.

Almost 350,000 students, therefore, have no access to education. At least 222 teachers were “victims of terrorist attacks”.

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The report contains 126 attacks and threats against students, teachers, and schools. Half of the attacks took place in 2019.

Not only do armed Islamist groups, which attack teachers, students, and schools in Burkina Faso, commit war crimes. They also sweep away the progress that has been made over the years to give children better access to education, said Lauren Seibert, researcher and author of the report.

“The brutal attacks have cost teachers their lives, their livelihoods, or their physical and mental health. The violent jihadis are depriving hundreds of thousands of children of the future,” Seibert said.

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