World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Education System in Central African Republic ‘on its knees'

9 May 2014 –

UNICEF and partners say education system in Central African Republic ‘on its knees’

More than half way through the 12-month school year, almost two thirds of schools in the conflict-ridden Central African Republic (CAR) remain closed, according to a recent survey by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners.

“The education system is literally on its knees,” said Souleymane Diabaté, UNICEF Representative in CAR. “Many teachers have not been paid for months; there are no textbooks; the little infrastructure that existed before the crisis has been damaged.”

Fighting in CAR has taken on an increasingly sectarian nature following a 2012 rebel-led coup and has since become more brutal with reports of ongoing human rights violations and reprisal clashes between largely Christian anti-balaka and mostly Muslim Séléka rebels that have displaced hundreds of thousands of people both inside and outside the country, and left 2.2 million in need of humanitarian aid.

The crisis has also disrupted two school years since the end of 2012 and many families are still too scared to send their children back to classes, UNICEF noted in a news release.

The survey carried out in February paints a grim picture. On average, schools have only been open for four weeks since October 2013 due to the destruction of classrooms, the slow return of teachers to duty posts and delayed payment of teachers’ salaries.

A third of the 355 schools surveyed have been attacked in recent months – struck by bullets, set on fire, looted or occupied by armed groups. Meanwhile, enrolment figures dropped drastically – one in three children who were enrolled in the last school year did not return this year.

“Families, homes, stability – so much has been taken from children during this crisis,” said Mr. Diabaté. “They cannot be robbed of education, their best hope for a better and more peaceful future.”

UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Education’s efforts to provide school supplies, restore looted schools and offer teacher training.

In areas where insecurity has hindered the resumption of educational activities, including the capital Bangui, UNICEF and partners set up nearly 120 temporary learning spaces where up to 23,000 children and adolescents have the opportunity to learn, play and receive psychosocial support.

UNICEF’s education programmes remain grossly underfunded, the agency warned. Only $3 million has been received so far out of a total $10 million needed to help children resume their learning.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news