Answered by Pr. Ibrahim Natatou raises the question of caring for school children and teachers forced to flee to uncertain places – Le Sahel

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Work on the plenary session of the first ordinary session for the year 2022 of the National Assembly continues at the hemicycle Place de la concertation. During the plenary yesterday, reserved for controlling government action, national deputies asked the Minister of National Education, Pr. Ibrahim Natatou on the steps taken by the government to manage students and teachers forced to flee areas of insecurity, especially the construction and safe regrouping centers. The Minister of Education went to answer questions asked by MP Idi Ango Ousmane. The plenary session was chaired by the President of the National Assembly, Mr. Seini Oumarou in the presence of the Government Commissioner, Mr. Mahamadou Lawaly Dan Dano, Minister of Communications, in charge of Institutional Relations.

In total, this is a series of twelve (12) questions asked by the deputy author of the government commissioner’s interpellation of measures taken by the government to guarantee the school for students and teachers in areas not ‘y security. The MP wanted to know more about the number of schools closed, the students and teachers affected, the location of the victims, the number of regrouping centers, the taking of lessons, the work program in the Ministry with NGOs and humanitarians. organizations working in the sector, and so on.

In response to the interpellation of the national deputy, Minister Ibrahim Natatou first welcomed the opportunity offered to him to address the national representation to address his concerns and beyond, his fellow citizens. According to the minister, education is a priority in SE’s act 3 revival program. Bazoum Mohamed, President of the Republic, Head of State, who said during his investiture that he would make education an area he would take care of personally as much as he would take care of security.

The uncertainty experienced in Niger has consequences and its effects have provoked a school crisis. In fact, for the first two questions, emergency statistics vary from one period to another. Thus, according to the latest situation compiled by the central services of the National Education from the data reported from the regions, dated May 05, 2022, out of 22. 997 schools, 791 schools were closed. in the four affected regions. %). These closed schools include 759 elementary schools and 32 total secondary schools. “All the closed schools had 68,306 students, including 33,089 girls, or 48.44%. They were distributed by region: Tillaberi with 62,562 students, including 30,568 girls, or 48.86% ; Tahoua with 3,511 students including 1,432 females, or 40.78%; Diffa with 1,768 students including 883 females, or 49.94% and Maradi with 465 students including 206 females, or 44.30% ”, said Prof Natatou. Regarding the teachers affected in the 4 regions, they are estimated at 2,430.

In addition, according to the summary of field mission reports from the regional directorates, dated June 5, 2022, 47,347 displaced students or internal refugees were recorded, including 21,995 women, ie 46.45%. As for the current state of life of the victims, the Minister determined that there are three

categories of children who are victims of insecurity. Therefore, children who moved with their parents are admitted to regrouping centers, where they are re-registered as internally displaced children. These they live with their parents and on conditions set by the State and compassionate organizations. In the second category, these are children who attend a neighboring school in their barangays and live with their parents or guardians. The third category relates to children whose school is closed but remain in their village with their parents. “This category of children in distress is completely out of learning. However, my ministerial department, in relation to technical and financial colleagues, has already begun the process of their support, through programs of distance education (school through community radios, national radio and television, digitization of content managed learning…). In summary, most insecure children live with their parents or grandparents. “About 130 regrouping centers are planned, most of which are complete and operational,” the Minister of National Education assured.

Steps taken to prevent school waste

The government is in the process of taking measures against the loss and delay in education of young students enrolled in host schools. At this level, the Minister stressed that only regrouping centers in the Tillaberi region started their educational activities in February 2022, i.e. 4 months behind the school calendar. However, it is not to say that due to this delay, many steps are being considered to enable the students of these centers to complete their teaching/learning activities.

However, the social reintegration of children and their parents who have left their villages due to insecurity is planned. According to the Minister of National Education, issues related to the social reintegration of victims of insecurity, the anticipation of the return to normal life in these areas and the possible socio-economic and security impact, beyond the capabilities of the only National Ministry. Education. “The contribution of my ministerial department to this intersectoral work includes, for example, the creation of three hundred and sixty-five (365) non-formal education centers to care for 12,745 children. who are out of school or who have dropped out of school. in insecure areas and other Waiting programs are planned for the return to normal life for schools in these areas plagued by insecurity, ”he explained. Prof. Ibrahim Natatou.

Possibility of catching up with school delays

At this level, the Minister of National Education explained that many steps have been taken to get the commitment of all actors, especially students, parents, communities, technical and financial partners, partners in social, religious leaders, traditional. chief, municipality and so on. to ensure continuing education for all children in insecure areas and to increase the awareness of students and their parents. There is also the creation of non-formal education centers that will allow some affected students to benefit a second time by continuing their education at the national level of education or vocational training through training centers for trades (CFM).

Also part of this panoply of measures: the implementation of emergency programs that focus on the basic ideas available to students; the organization of remedial courses; the implementation of innovative techniques for pedagogical support for students (tutoring, mentoring, etc.) the digitization of important content in the basic disciplines to promote extracurricular activities through self-learning and distance learning and ensuring regular monitoring of all teaching/learning activities by education supervisors.

Companion measures for enrolling displaced children within schools

According to Minister Natatou, it is very clear that in the context of educational care of children from different backgrounds, specific strategies have been implemented, as is the case with the gathering centers mentioned. As far as emergency management, this is an agreement where we now have to deal with repeated security and climate tremors. “As a result, a division has been created within my department to handle the issue. We recall that in terms of emergency management, three important steps need to be observed, which are to prepare, respond and return to normal, ”said the Minister of National Education.

Prof. Ibrahim Natatou finally said that education in emergency situations is a challenge. “My ministerial department is equipping itself to deal with this by adopting a temporary disaster management plan along with regional maps. The implementation of this temporary plan requires the support of our national representation to a lot of resources can be mobilized ”, he concluded.

Finally, it should be noted that the work of the plenary session will continue this Wednesday, June 15, 2022 from 9 a.m. with the agenda, examination and voting on the two bills.

Seini Seydou Zakaria (usa)

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