In Mali, more than 800 schools have closed because of fears of violence from Islamist groups.
According to UNICEF, nearly a quarter of a million Malian children are unable to go to school, with the problem most acute in the central region of Mopti. Despite efforts to re-open some schools, the security situation remains fragile and some families feel it’s still simply too dangerous to send their children to class.
he U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports education in war-torn Mali is in a state of crisis and in urgent need of international support to repair the damaged education system and get children back to school.
International donors respond quickly to emergencies with money for food, water, health care and other basic needs. But they tend to give little for education, which is low on their list of priorities.
The U.N. children’s fund considers this misplaced and wrong on many levels. UNICEF representative in Mali, Lucia Elmi said education is important in any emergency because it saves lives.
She told VOA schools provide a protective environment for children, providing them with school meals, medical checkups and psycho-social support to help them deal with traumatic experiences
“It gives children a sense of normalcy — children who have been displaced, who have been under attack,” she said. “In the school and in learning and also playing with other children and going through the normal educational routine is really the best way to save lives.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
December 14th, 2018