The number of schools closed in West and Central Africa due to attacks by Non-State Armed Groups (NSAG), occupation by armed forces, a general climate of insecurity, direct threats to the lives of pupils and school staff, and the outright fear faced by children, families, teachers and communities has increased over the past year to reach over 13,250, impacting an estimated 2.5 million children’s learning, well-being and protection.
While this represents a modest 7 percent annual rise, this average conceals some highly contrasted evolutions. Burkina Faso is most notable.
The number of schools closed due to insecurity has increased by close to 33 per cent, to reach 6,150; today 1 in every 4 schools is closed in the country.
DRC has also seen a stark increase, by the same proportion yet on a smaller scale, to reach 410, following the deterioration of the conflict in the Eastern regions of North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri.
In Chad, the number of schools closed has increased over tenfold, to reach 134. Fortunately, these trends are contrasted by those of Nigeria and the Central African Republic, where over 70 per cent and 90 per cent of those schools closed in September 2022 have since re-opened to pupils.