Africa’s teachers tell us about the progress of education in their country, and what they see as the biggest challenges and hopes for African teachers and students. Education features prominently in the millennium development goals, and MDG2 aims to ensure that all children complete a full course of primary education, measured by enrolment, the proportion who reach the last grade, and literacy rates for those aged 15-24.
GRAND GEDEH, Liberia, 20 July – In a nation still recovering from a ruinous civil war – a place where many people have no access to electricity, safe water or health care – hundreds of communities have opened their doors to refugees from neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire.
Eight months after a political crisis erupted in that country, more than 150,000 Ivorians remain in Liberia. Most of them are being hosted by families in remote villages dotting the Liberia-Côte d’Ivoire border.
BEOUA, Côte d’Ivoire, 24 June 2011 – “We arrived at school at 7:30 a.m. as we always do on a school day. At exactly 8:30 we could hear shooting coming from the direction of a neighbouring village,” recalls Pafait Guei, a 14-year-old boy in sixth grade, who usually attends Beoua village primary school in western Côte d’Ivoire.
NIMBA COUNTY, Liberia, 24 June 2011 – Forty-year old Philippe Cheugui used to teach history and geography at a school in Danane, a town in western Côte d’Ivoire. He was a successful teacher and public spokesperson, an inspiration to many.
Today, he finds himself seeking refuge under a tarpaulin shelter in Liberia’s Bahn camp. He watches his wife cook beside the tent with despair and relief in his eyes. He knows they are fortunate to have survived.
GANTA, Liberia, 11 September 2009 – Salomie Kieah is one of many six-year-old children starting school this month in Liberia. After a final adjustment to fit her new uniform and a stop at the stationery shop to buy supplies, she is ready for her first day in primary school.
Salomie was born in 2003, a few weeks after her country restored peace following 14 years of conflict that killed, wounded and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. She is among the first class of first-graders to be born in peace here in many years.