The Ségou region, in southern Mali, hosts many displaced families. For its children, Unicef distributed 3,000 solar-powered radios in four regions of the country to provide educational programs to more than 18,000 students, to prevent school dropouts.
From our correspondent in Bamako,
Eight young girls gathered around Aïssata. In the shade of a large mango tree, with the notebook in hand, they look at the small black box in the middle. Today, on the radio, it is a lesson in geometry. Less than a year ago, they went to school in Gao, 970 kilometers further north. Forced by the conflict to flee south, they missed several months of school.
Not far away, the young Coulibaly is revising his conjugation. After an attack in his village, his family was relocated. Ali Konaté, the director of the facility who welcomes him to Ségou, explains that “these children are closely monitored by their parents at home. There are lessons prepared with the virtual master that provide distance lessons. There are songs, math, reading and writing. they are even busy with small groups. It turned out that their results improved. “
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More than 1,200 schools closed Up to three million children attend school in Mali, according to Unicef. Finish school, the consequences of which can range from early marriage to enlistment in armed groups.
For Sylvie Fouet, representative of Unicef in Mali: “They are obviously not equipped with the opportunities to have a job that can be well paid. So they will go into the option and be recruited either in drugs or in human trafficking. The goal is therefore to try not to lose these opportunities to find a profession and a job that really allows them to develop and grow in the economy in Mali, she says.
Added to the security crisis was the health crisis linked to the arrival of the coronavirus in March 2020 in Mali. According to Unicef, more than 1,200 schools have been closed across the country.