In Côte d'Ivoire, girls are pushing open the doors of school

Côte d'Ivoire, Education, Lataha, Guébo, Ivory Coast
Côte d'Ivoire
In Côte d’Ivoire,
girls are pushing open
the doors of school
new places created in 116 primary schools
teachers trained
EUR 100m
earmarked for basic education
In Côte d’Ivoire, children from rural areas come up against major difficulties in accessing high school and higher grades. Girls are particularly concerned. To reduce these inequalities, AFD is supporting an extensive education for all program.

Few inequalities are as glaring as those affecting the education of girls. For example, in Côte d’Ivoire, only 2% of girls from poor families in rural areas can hope to complete secondary education, against 49% of rich urban boys.

The Government of Côte d’Ivoire has made education-training a priority focus, by overhauling high schools. This reform is combined with a program to build a large number of small high schools in rural areas, to bring the populations the most excluded from education services closer and reduce inequalities between urban and rural dwellers.

AFD is supporting these large-scale projects via the Youth Challenge program, implemented since 2013. This financing is assisting the State by building 240 high schools, equipping classes, training teaching staff and improving teaching quality.
It especially aims to facilitate access to school for rural populations, with girls as a priority. In the Korhogo region, over 500 km to the north of Abidjan, several small municipalities are benefitting from this project. This is the case for Lataha’s high school and Lofinekaha’s primary school...

Côte d'Ivoire, Education, Lataha, Guébo, Ivory Coast
 Côte d'Ivoire, Education, Rachelle, Guébo,Ivory Coast
Rachelle no longer makes sacrifices to learn
“Later on, I want to become President of the Republic”. The young Rachelle Yéo certainly does have ambitions, and wants to give herself the means for them: “This is why I work very hard at school”. If this 4th grade student can dream, it is because the conditions for her access to school have changed.

“I used to have to wake up at 4 am and walk 6 km to get to the city’s high school, in Korhogo. I always arrived at school tired, which could be seen with my results”, the young girl remembers. Two years ago, Lataha’s brand new high school, about 10 km from Korhogo, was completed and delivered. Now it is only a few minutes on foot from her home. “I now wake up at 6 am, I walk for ten minutes and I arrive at school. I am not as tired and it is easier for me to learn”.
Côte d'Ivoire, Education, Sabro, Guébo, Ivory Coast
New hope for Katchiéné
Students from the Lataha high school come from surrounding villages, located between 3 and 15 km from Korhogo, the capital of the region. In addition to reducing distances, the construction of the schools has stopped parents from worrying. “They are more relaxed, especially for their girls. The city has a reputation of being dangerous for them: school-age pregnancies, bad company, etc.”, points out Lathe Sabro (our photo), the principal of the high school in Lataha.

The latter received a young girl who got pregnant in the 5th grade at the age of 13. She lives in Lataha, but had to go to the Korhogo high school every day. “When she had given birth, we encouraged her not to give up her studies and to go back to her 5th grade class”, says the head of the high school. Katchiéné Soro, who is 15 today, is now in a 4th grade class in Lataha. Her recent school results put her 8th out of 43 students. “Being at school will ensure I have a job later and will mean I won’t have to reach out to men”, she points out. Her dream: become an English teacher.
Côte d'Ivoire, Education, Lofinekaha, Guébo,Ivory Coast
Fatogama, or education for all boys and girls
In Lofinekaha, people now take their girls to school. In the village’s public primary school (our photo), “there are a total of 135 girls and 113 boys. It’s very encouraging”, Fatogama Ouattara, the principal of the school, is pleased to say. “Parents here have accepted the idea that a girl must be in school and not at home or given in marriage, as they used to think”, adds Fatogama. “This is an advantage in the education of our children, especially for our girls”.

“We are pleased to have a place where our children learn how to read and write”, states Siriki Silué. He is the father of three children, including two girls. One is in the CE2 class and the other at nursery school, because a pre-school class has even been opened. “There are 12 girls out of a total of 20 pupils”, explains the parent, with the hope that this will become the standard ratio nationwide.