Soon I will be traveling to the North of the country to visit schools and evaluate teachers on the Human Rights curriculum. I will hopefully be attending some trainings, talking with students, and seeing how things are done up North. As you may know, the North was cut off from the rest of the country during the civil conflict, with many fleeing south or being displaced. In 2004, as many as 700,000 children were estimated to not be attending school. The number of teachers decreased substantially in the region, so non-governmental organizations often had to step-in to take over.
The Education for All initiative of the Global Monitoring Report demonstrates that there are serious inequalities between Northern students and their Southern counterparts: Students from the North are more likely to only have completed less than two years of schooling or to never have even gone to school. Between the ages of 15 and 19, the report estimates that those dwelling in the North are the most deprived groups, and more likely to be out of school compared to the South or those living in Abidjan.
In a report on Conflict and Education for the U.S. Peace Institute from 2010, the author asserts “The longer the government waits to rebuild the northern education system, the more the civilians and communities suffer. This in effect denies them their rights, limits their livelihood options, and frustrates entire generations of learners, further complicating reconciliation efforts.”
Therefore, my trip to the North has a few objectives: check out the EDHC teaching efforts for those farthest away from the capital, but also strengthen the relationship between the Ministry of Education and those who may have felt neglected by the government previously, while providing the Ministry itself with vital information about the performances of these schools.