More often than not, the voices, opinions and ideas of children are not heard in the school system in Burkina Faso. While, parents, teachers and school managers have forums in which to debate issues and raise concerns, children aren’t allowed to participate in decisions that will affect their own education.
To address this gap, Plan International Ireland, through its EQuIP programme, has developed a new integrating children into the decision making process. This new approach is called School Government (SG) and is focused on enabling children to be active participants in the management and running of their schools.
How we made it happen!
First, we began with the training of all teachers and pedagogic supervisors in Child to Child and SG approaches in partnership with the provincial Department of Education and Literacy. After the training, teachers in Legmoin aligned with other schools and supported their students to set up the SG.
Every school then set up an Executive Office which was was made up of 10 members including a President, a Prime Minister and eight Ministers who were responsible for the following areas: environment, hygiene and sanitation, education and discipline, agriculture, social welfare, sport and culture, communication, economics and finance.
The Executive Officer then developed and implemented an action plan with the support of the Parents and Teachers Association and the Mother Association with the support of school leaders.
Regular meetings would take place where decisions were shared with the rest of the student population to ensure that everyone bought in to new proposals and ideas.
What is the future planning? During next school year the SG will be strengthened in its role with regard to promotinggender andinclusion. The SG will include adepartment thatwill handleissues connected with girls andboys withdisabilities.Thus, throughdramas, poems and other activities, studentswill educatetheir peersand communities as topromote access to and retention in school for these specificgroups.