Thursday, November 07, 2013

Blog 9: Mali crisis causes issues in Education

                 Bamako, the capital city of Mali located in Africa, has been recovering for some time from serious threats and dangers from Islamic militant and separatist’s rebels that came about in March, 201.  The Islamic militants were removed by French forces in January but stability has not yet returned to the area. The attacks from the Islamic militant prohibited the start of school year all over Mali because of security reasons, damages to the schools and now a shortage in teachers. In areas such as Timbuktu the government has been trying to get teachers to return to the area by offering them reason to return by using cash reward from of 500 US dollars. Many feel this is not enough to return back to such dangerous conditions.  The conflict still goes on today and there are suicide attackers threatening the safety of teachers and children.  The problem is many schools have decided to re-open regardless of the hazards involved. 
                The children of Sahel during the years of 2011-2012 when the conflict and food crisis began some 800,000 children were kept out of school for a two year period.  The conflict was not the only thing causing poor attendance before the level of education remained low and about 1.2 million were not attending schools and most of these were girls.  The lost years is creating issues because now that the children have been out of school for so long they may choose not to return.  Timbuktu has returned to school and have not had any issues other than the fact many teachers are not returning which leaves the teachers performing double shifts and the calendar for the year has been disrupted.  In areas such as Gao teachers went on strike because they had not received their return-to-work grant. Other regions such as Kidal have not even returned back to school because of control from the rebel groups.  Many schools during the crisis were destroyed and it took some time to get these schools back up and running.  One teacher by the name, Oumar Touré said, "It is the future of these poor children that we should consider. They need us."
                The attacks on Mali are creating problems for the children living there, some cannot attend school while others fear their safety while attending school. The children’s education is at stake and because of this crisis many will not go back to school, leaving them to live poor lives while those who jeopardize their safety may have chances of a better life. A big issue going on right now is the teacher to student ratio is dis-proportioned this is not allowing the children to receive a quality education because the teachers cannot give them one on one attention. Also the teachers are overworked and underpaid which may result in more teacher dropout rates in the future. The only way this will get better is to ensure the safety of the country without this many children will remain uneducated or under-educated. 
Date: 11/7/2013
Time: 8:15PM
Name: Sarah Vestrat

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