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School dropout in Africa: what solutions?

Education is a fundamental human right. According to UNICEF, on school days, more than a billion children around the world go to school. But not all children are so lucky, especially on the African continent. School dropout is a major challenge affecting millions of young people in Africa. It jeopardizes their future and the development of an entire continent. Faced with this alarming reality, we must commit to fighting school dropouts in order to provide quality education for all. What are the root causes of school dropout in Africa and the devastating consequences? What solutions to reverse this worrying scourge?


The causes of school dropout in Africa

Poverty is one of the main causes of school dropout in Africa. Low-income families face considerable financial hardship. Thus, meeting the basic needs of their children is difficult, if not impossible. In many cases, these families find themselves in a cycle of persistent poverty, where generations follow one another without being able to escape this precarious situation. Sending your child to school requires big sacrifices that not all parents can afford. They do not have the financial means to provide their children with what they need to study in the best conditions. In the most disadvantaged regions of the world, millions of children go to school empty-handed. And for good reason, the purchase of school supplies represents a significant cost. Due to a lack of material, they cannot therefore benefit from a quality education.

Africa holds a sad record, that of the number ofworking children. According to the International Labor Organization, almost 41% of children on the continent are involved in economic activities. Indeed, theidren are often forced toworking from an early ageto contribute to family income. They are also millions who have to help with household chores. They go for example every day to fetch water, or they work in the fields. Some also find jobs to help support their families.

These financial barriers are also amplified by the lack of adequate school infrastructure . We can cite in particular the non-existence of non-existent school canteens to ensure regular food and transport to facilitate access to school. In rural areas, for example, students have to travel miles every day to get to school, resulting in dropouts.

The consequences of early school leaving in Africa

School dropout in Africa perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty, with profound repercussions on society and the economy. Without adequate education, these young people face precarious and poorly paid employment prospects, thus keeping them in a cycle of persistent poverty. 

Cette exclusion sociale entraîne également une série de problèmes sociaux. Les jeunes décrocheurs sont plus susceptibles de se sentir marginalisés, de subir des discriminations et de devenir des cibles potentielles de la violence. Ils sont aussi plus enclins à s’engager dans des activités à risque, tels que la délinquance, la toxicomanie ou le trafic illégal. Cela les expose à un plus grand danger et les maintient dans un état de vulnérabilité. On dénombre pas moins de 300 000 enfants soldats à travers le monde. La grande majorité d’entre eux se trouvent sur le continent africain comme au Sahel.

In addition to the individual consequences, dropping out of school has significant repercussions on the socio-economic development of African countries. Indeed, a low school completion rate leads to a lack of qualified human capital, necessary for economic growth and innovation. Countries that fail to provide quality education to their people risk remaining on the margins of the global economy and finding themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

Solutions to reverse the trend


To break this cycle of dropping out of school, it is essential to put in place measures aimed at reducing the economic constraints that weigh on low-income families. For example, this may involve the provision of scholarships or financial aid to cover tuition fees and education-related expenses. Microfinance programs can also be set up to enable parents to access additional financial resources and develop sustainable income-generating activities. Other initiatives exist.

So that each child can access quality education and build their future, we distribute school kits to students. They contain a schoolbag, a pencil case, notebooks, pens, markers, a ruler, an eraser, etc. Enough to work for an entire school year!

We also set up canteens in schools to provide complete and balanced meals to each child. Now children come to school knowing that they will be able to satisfy their hunger. And, fully concentrate on their studies. For the majority of them, this meal is even the only one of the day. The experience in Togo is a striking example of the positive impact of these school canteens. In just one year, the success rate for the Certificate of Studies has jumped from 38% to 100%! Beyond these encouraging results, school canteens also contribute to local economic development by supporting local farmers and promoting employment within communities.

Encouraging access to school for all children increases their chance of lasting escape from poverty. It is the hope for them to glimpse a better future.

Et si vous changiez la vie d’un enfant en lui offrant la chance d’étudier à l’école ? 

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