Abidjan, October 24, 2011 – As 2.5 million primary school pupils officially return to school this
back to school on October 24, UNICEF remains concerned about the lasting impact of the
on primary education in Côte d’Ivoire. According to a survey conducted in early October by
by UNICEF and its partners, over half of parents are still unsure whether they will be able to send their
to send their children to school this year.
“It was already difficult for poor families to get their children into school before the crisis.
that the deterioration in living conditions over the past few months will make it even harder for difficult for children to return to school, especially those from the poorest households”, explained explained Hervé Ludovic de Lys, UNICEF Representative in Côte d’Ivoire. “The government’s strong commitment to provide free schooling is certainly a step in the right direction, but we also need to ensure that family burdens are taken into account.
Also ensure that the family burden of schooling is not increased by related costs such as school supplies
such as school supplies, school meals and uniforms, which could act as barriers tobarriers to children entering and/or staying in school.”
According to the survey, families’ lack of financial means is the major obstacle preventing schooling, particularly for girls, who are the first to be affected when financial choices when financial choices have to be made by heads of household. The ability of families to take responsibility their children’s education has been particularly affected by the weakening of livelihoods in some regions, the loss of life among families directly affected by the violence or simply the general impoverishment of communities after 10 years of socio-political tension.
The post-electoral crisis also had a profound impact on the Ivorian education system, with more than one million enrolled children having their schooling interrupted. Children had their schooling interrupted during the 2010-2011 school year. Schools were closed for several months throughout the country, and there were numerous cases of attacks (destruction, looting, occupation by armed forces and groups, etc.), and some teachers and students
teachers and students fled their home regions to seek refuge elsewhere in Côte d’Ivoire or in neighbouring
neighbouring countries, etc. Although the political and security situation has returned to normal in most of the
territory, many challenges remain to be overcome to enable all children to attend school.
Together with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF has launched a campaign to get children back to school and keep them there this year and keeping children in school this year, targeting nearly a million pupils. Nearly half a million school bags are being distributed, teachers are being trained in psychosocial support and
rapid rehabilitation work is being carried out on the most damaged schools. UNICEF IS ALSO
is also encouraging other partners to work together to ensure that all children, girls and boys alike, have access to a quality education. Activities such as school canteens and information campaigns or information campaigns in the local media have demonstrated that they can significantly school enrolment.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. from early childhood through adolescence. Leading of vaccines to developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition
children’s health and nutrition, access to safe drinking water and sanitation
water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls
quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children against violence, exploitation in all its forms and AIDS.
exploitation and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions
voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and
For further information, please contact
Louis Vigneault-Dubois, Head of Communication, UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire
Tel: (+225) 04 03 50 44 , Mail: email@example.com
(See attached file: Rentree_UNICEF1.jpg)(See attached file:
Rentree_UNICEF2.jpg)(See attached file: Rentrée_24Oct2011_FINAL.pdf)
Note to Editors:
Photo credits: UNICEF Côte d'Ivoire / 2011 / Asselin
Caption: Ecole primaire publique (EPP) de Bloleu, May 2011