Dilapidated buildings with cracked walls, filthy toilets with open plumbing and classrooms devoid of all but the most limited resources. These were the shocking conditions uncovered by Malian teacher union SNEC who carried out a survey of public school facilities at primary and secondary level in the urban area of Bamako as part of its activities under the EFAIDS Programme.
For SNEC the rationale behind conducting such a survey is that achieving Education for All is not only about guaranteeing universal access to education but also about offering quality education which includes appropriate school facilities.
In the report, SNEC finds that numerous obstacles including limited resources, poor cooperation between key stakeholders and weak use of resources by the schools themselves, preclude the improvement of school facilities in the capital.
SNEC sets forward a number of recommendations chief amongst which are the need for greater investment in the coming decade to prepare the current education system to accommodate the one million children who remain out of school in Mali, and to reduce the teacher-class ratio which too often surpasses 1-90. SNEC concludes with the recommendation that quality Education for All will only be achieved when the issues of teachers, facilities and materials are addressed simultaneously.
With the findings of the report publicised, together with a documentary which was broadcast on national television, SNEC has implemented a series of activities to lobby the educational authorities to improve school facilities in the Bamako area.
Consult the documentary of SNEC on school facilities in Bamako and the accompanying report.