Burkina Faso Education and Health

School education

The formal training system is largely taken from the French model, as are the CEP, BEPC and BAC school qualifications. Although schooling is compulsory from the age of 6, less than half of all children go through six-year primary school. There are far too few teachers and schools . Above all in the eastern region, classes under thatched roofs are furnished. Since a school leaving certificate no longer guarantees a paid job, the willingness of parents to send their children to school has decreased. Costs for parents’ contribution, school material and clothing do not amount to more than EUR 10 per year for a primary school pupil. However, schoolchildren are absent from the families as domestic help or to tend sheep. In cities there can be classes with over 100 children . In such circumstances, the quality of the teaching steadily decreases. 14% of all children reach secondary schools, i.e. collège (secondary school) or lycée (high school), 90% of which are in cities.

As a country located in Africa according to topschoolsintheusa, Burkina Faso has one of the lowest school attendance rates in the world, according to the HDI . The figures from UNESCO’s last analysis of the school situation in Burkina Faso show, among other things, that the discrimination against girls is decreasing when they start school, but less so when it comes to secondary schools.

Those who have funds send their children – as the responsible politicians and foreign development experts do – to private schools, the expensive French or American schools, and let them study abroad.

Technical and university education

There are in Burkina Faso among the universities four state universities (the University of Ouagadougou , Université Ouaga II , the Université Polytechnique de Bobo-Dioulasso and the University of Koudougou ) and two Catholic private universities (the University of St. Thomas d’Aquin in Ouagadougou and the Université Catholique d’Afrique de l’Ouest in Bobo-Dioulasso) and four other private universities ( Université Ouaga 3S , Université Aube Novelle , Université libre du Burkina and University of United Popular Nations). The largest university is the Université de Ouagadougou. To this day there is still a lack of sufficient study opportunities. The government therefore grants scholarships for training at European and African universities. Some of the universities offer vocational training programs.

There are also several film schools in Ouagadougou, among them the Institut Africain d´Education Cinématographique de Ouagadougou ( INAFEC ) and the Institut Supérieur de l´Images et du Son ( ISIS ).

Non-formal education

Non-formal education essentially comprises the MENA literacy program (Ministère de l’Enseignement National et de l’Alphabétisation). Funders for this program are the EU, UNICEF, Welthungerhilfe, the World Bank, PAM and the African Development Bank, France, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, PR China, Denmark.

The self-help organization ” Association Tin Tua ” based in Fada N´Gourma offers literacy in local languages . Tin Tua was awarded a UNESCO prize for this in 2009 .

Health and social affairs

Modern medicine

Respiratory infections (particularly pneumonia) are the most common illness and leading cause of child death. Malaria and diarrheal diseases follow closely behind. Another problem is the infection rate of HIV / AIDS . The prevalence was given as 0.7% in 2019, so Burkina Faso does not belong to the high prevalence countries. Meningitis is also a dangerous and often fatal infectious disease . Burkina Faso is regularly hit by epidemics of meningococcal meningitis (meningitis) during the dry season from February to April.

Modern health care is organized on a total of five levels (comparatively village, department, province, region, country):

  • Poste de Santé Primaire (PSP)
  • Center de Santé et de Promotion Sociale (CSPS)
  • Center Médical (CM) or Center Médical avec Antenne Chirurgicale (CMA)
  • Center Hospitalier Regional (CHR)
  • Center Hospitalier National (CHN)

At the lowest level, the equipment is very poor or not available at all. There is usually no doctor in a CSPS. The center is managed by a nurse who should have the skills of a chief doctor. The “CHN Yalgado Ouedraogo” in Ouagadougou has the reputation of being a death station. Doctors are overwhelmed and poorly paid here. Funds flow clandestinely. The conditions are chaotic by European standards. Those who can afford it take their sick to private hospitals, where the same doctors from “Yalgado” often treat after work.

Traditional medicine

The doctors trained in conventional medicine in Burkina Faso often prescribe long prescriptions and have few reservations about the use of antibiotics. That already discourages many, for whom “white” drugs are prohibitively expensive, from even going to a doctor. The sale of uncontrolled drugs by hawkers, mostly imported from Ghana, is flourishing (“Les médicaments de la rue , ça tue!”).

Many go to healers with magical abilities or charlatans who sell gris-gris (amulets / good luck charms) or impose acts of calming down (e.g. dropping an egg from a taxi in traffic, giving a blind person a cloth, bread to begging Koran students, a red rooster to a blacksmith …). According to their understanding, illness has its origin in a hidden world in which it can also be cured by calming the spirits (kinkirgha).

Social affairs: organizations and institutions

In the social field , Burkina Faso has a large number of non-governmental organizations or self-help groups of all kinds. The networking and coordination of these NGOs is ensured by a number of umbrella organizations, such as the NGO Secretariat ( SPONG ).

One of the most important state institutions for health and pension provision is the CNSS (Caisse Nationale de Sécurité Sociale) , which has been in existence for over 50 years . Its task is to administer the social security systems for wage earners and their family members (approx. 20% of the population) in Burkina Faso. The pension institution is divided into three branches:
– The family insurance pays benefits (e.g. pregnancy allowance, family allowances and support benefits for mother and child in the form of benefits in kind) to family members.
– The company insurance is responsible for benefits in the event of accidents and occupational diseases.
– The pension insurance applies to old-age provision, Disability and death of the insured.
These services are supplemented with health and social measures.
In Burkina Faso there is compulsory insurance for all employees.

The CNSS does not offer general health insurance. This is only offered by private insurance companies. However, the services there are also very limited.

The rural population, who often work in subsistence farming and make up 80% of the population, do not benefit from such opportunities. For them, the extended family continues to be a community of solidarity in the event of hunger and illness.

To cope with marginalized social groups such as beggars, people with intellectual disabilities ( les fous ), displaced witches, teenagers abandoned because of pregnancy … there is a social welfare office, “L´Action Sociale”, whose possibilities are modest with limited funds.

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