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.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news