Mining Boom in Burkina Faso has Negative Effect on Education

The gold mining boom in the country has a negative impact on the school attendance of children from primary school to secondary school, as reported on IRIN. Efforts to hold children at school such as programs that reward parents and children with books or even cash were almost without success.

Primary school enrolment in the country is 57.8 percent, but only 33.9 percent of pupils complete school nationally, and just 24 percent in the rural areas. Children as young as six and older ones up to 17 can be found working at the mines, the government’s National Institute for Statistics and Democracy found in a recent study.

“We need to hold national debates on the issue because in five years, we won’t have schools in some areas of the country,” said Hassane Sankara of the Cadre de Concertation des ONG pour l’education de Base, a coalition of local NGOs working for the improvement of primary education and enrolment.