Attacks on students, teachers and schools in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have increased significantly since 2018, and the coronavirus pandemic that led to the temporary closings of schools does not appear to have slowed that trend, according to the latest report by the Global Coalition on the Protection of Education from Attack (GCPEA).
The report “Supporting Safe Education in the Central Sahel”, published on the occasion of the celebration of the first International Day for the Protection of Education from Attacks on September 9, confirmed more than 85 attacks of this type in the three countries between January and January, although this July schools were closed between March and May due to the pandemic.
In the case of Mali, for example, there were at least 27 attacks on secondary schools when classes resumed in June to allow students to take exams.
According to the coalition, attacks on education in this part of the Sahel have “increased alarmingly” in recent years. In Burkina Faso and Niger, attacks of this type doubled between 2018 and 2019, contributing to the closure of more than 2,000 schools. In the case of Mali, there were more than 60 attacks on schools in 2019 alone and more than 1,100 were shut down.