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Burundi’s Batwa Children Can’t Access Private Education

2 Min Read

In Burundi, Young Batwa who have finished their secondary education are stuck at home because they cannot afford private higher education.

According to Estella Niyogushima, a Mutwa student who has just finished her humanities at Bururi Communal High School, it is above all young Batwa who have not passed the state exams who are faced with this problem because their families are destitute while private higher education is expensive.

They are appealling to local and international NGOs that campaign for the promotion of inclusive, equitable and quality education to do everything so that they [Batwa] students can continue their university course.

According to Patrick Congera, representative of the association Unite us for the promotion of the Batwa “Uniproba”,

The problem of access to school is not a concern today, but their retention in school. But there are still some cases of abandonment of Batwa pupils, mainly due to poverty.

He appeals to the WFP, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Education, to set up school canteens in certain schools where there are a few cases of abandonment to allow these students to have access to food at noon.

Some Batwa parents are asking the government to have their land properties in order to find a lasting solution to this problem which is causing some Batwa students to drop out of school.

He gives the example of some Batwa in the commune of Songa who have land and cows who no longer have to worry about the schooling of their children.

Sources close to the provincial directorate of education confirm the drop in the Batwa drop-out rate because of awareness-raising meetings held with the Batwa community.

It should be noted that today young Batwa enlist in the army and the police and pass recruitment tests in several fields like other young people.