This measure is the first published in the report “General statements about the education system“was carried out by the Ministry of National Education and Literacy. It submitted its report to the Prime Minister of Ivory Coast at the beginning of September.
The Minister of National Education, Mariatou Koné, defends this alleged reform.encourage students to work.
“Fight against mediocrity“
“This is a measure that has been in place since the 1970s and that we remember to encourage students to work and fight against mediocrity.“, Minister of National Education Mariatou Koné, who has been in office since April 6, 2021, told AFP journalists.
This enthusiasm is also shared by Claude Kadio Aka, president of the Organization of Parents of Pupils and Students of Côte d’Ivoire (Opeeci), who was joined by TV5MONDE.
“This measure is an old measure which is necessary if we want to introduce quality education in the country.“, he claims.
The children are in high grades and can’t even write a basic sentence.Christelle Okingni in an interview with AFP.
“Former Minister of Education of Ivory Coast Kandia Camara Kamissoko [aujourd’hui Ministre des Affaires étrangères] decided ten years ago to move all children to higher classes, regardless of their level. This decision caused many problems regarding the level of pupils“, condemns Claude Kadio Aka.
“Today, the student has three options“, he explains.If he succeeds, the student goes to the next class, if he has problems, he repeats, if he simply fails, he is expelled.“.
At Pierre Amondji College in Adjamé, whose principle “He who seeks perfection will obtain perfection“It is displayed in large letters on the walls of the courtyard, the testimonies collected by the AFP agency indicate the satisfaction of the pupils.
“I see this as positive, it will lead us to redouble our efforts and work harder“, estimates Djénébou, the final student who will pass his matriculation at the end of the year.
“It is a good measure, the aim is to improve our knowledge and come out with a good training“, adds his classmate Seydou.
Christelle Okingni, mother of four school children, also welcomes the initiative: “The children are in high grades and can’t even write a basic sentence“.
Read: Ivory Coast: literacy is also done online
Technical education:Last chance for struggling students“
In the popular neighborhood of Adjamé, in the heart of Abidjan, on the eve of the new school year, there is excitement in front of the small stalls selling school supplies. The same question is on everyone’s lips.”what happens to expelled students“?
Students will not be expelled from the school systemMariatou Koné, Minister of National Education of Ivory Coast.
The Ministry assures that “students will not be excluded from the school system. There are bridges with technical education and vocational education“.
But these gates are not automatically offered to affected students, reveals Claude Kadio Aka. “Technical education is ready to give a last chance to all children who do not follow the normal rhythm, but it is up to parents to sign up their children for the bridges of professionalization.“, he warns.
“These technical lessons are accessible by competition“, explains the Opeeci representative.A child cannot be bad everywhere, so it is necessary to test children and then determine the areas in which they should orientate themselves according to their predispositions.“, he claims.
The Ministry has not yet disclosed how it intends to proceed in order to facilitate the reorientation of these pupils, whose education is legally compulsory until the age of 16.
Claude Kadio Aka claims to start a business “sensitization operations” with parents to find training for their children.
He also wants to convince the authorities to “list the children involved [ceux renvoyés par leurs établissements] to be able to ask the authorities for a budget to support them.”
The risk of children falling out
Despite this, there is a fear in the country today of children dropping out of school. “The measure is too drastic, what will we do with the excluded pupils“, worried Mariam Eïd, the mother of the family, who was interviewed by AFP in front of a shop with school supplies.
If, in theory, education in the country remains free, school supplies are the responsibility of parents. Their costs are often too high for families in great financial difficulty in a country exposed to inflation (4.1% in 2021 according to World Bank data).
Watch: Ivory Coast: government announces measures to combat price hikes
In addition to issues of level, the school system in Côte d’Ivoire faces significant difficulties. In Ivory Coast, it is not unusual to find classes with 60 or even 80 students. According to experts interviewed by AFP, the shortage of teachers sometimes shortens the school year by several weeks.
It is not uncommon for a child to fail due to lack of resources
Claude Kadio Aka, President of the Organization of Parents of Pupils and Students of Ivory Coast.
On Wednesday, September 14, the government announced the free distribution of 6 million school textbooks and 5.3 million consumable kits, as well as the provision of 167,000 tables.
However, these announcements often concern only elementary school students. “Every year, school kits are given to children at the primary school level, but at the secondary level, all the cost of the supplies goes to the parents. It is not uncommon for a child to fail due to lack of resources“, reveals Claude Kadio Aka.
There is a risk that children are in the wild. Claude Kadio Aka, President of the Organization of Parents of Pupils and Students of Ivory Coast.
Children excluded from their facilities and unable to find training are at risk of dropping out of school. “There is already a loss among young people in Ivory Coast with many petty criminals roaming the streets and disrespecting the country.“, believes Claude Kadio Aka.
If this reform aims to offer “a specific job“to all young people in the country today it exists”the risk of children being in the wild“, according to the representative of the parents’ association.