Aulas Peligrosas

Antonio Aragón Renuncio

The difficulty of being a girl and going to school in sub-Saharan Africa.

In recent years, Burkina Faso, a country permanently at the top of the world’s poverty list and once one of the safest in West Africa has been the target of more than 300 attacks by terrorist groups linked to Daesh.

Formal education in French (the official language of the country) and the teachers who carry it out with great effort and dedication have become the focus of most of the attacks of a bloody and atrocious campaign that has forced the closure of more than a thousand schools in the north and east, has left more than 150,000 children without classes in the last year alone and has made more than half of its teachers abandon their work and seek refuge.

The terrorist threat to teachers and students (especially girls who are even more threatened) in Burkina Faso and other West and Central African countries is obvious and a sad reality that, unfortunately, is increasing.

Families are frightened. So are the children. They no longer want to go to school. They fear an attack that will end their lives and have started to study inside their homes. Improvised blackboards populate their humble dwellings. Regiments of girls and boys learn from each other (the older ones teach the younger ones) in a great wheel of creative and cultural resistance worthy of praise. The thirst for knowledge knows no bounds. Neither does the capacity for suffering and resilience of the inhabitants of «the homeland of upright men» and their children.

Education generates trust. Trust generates hope. Hope generates peace.