Burundi, Bujumbura, school kids writing exam papers in classroom. Photo Credit: Anthony Asael/Art in All of Us via Getty Images

Society Burundi12. March 2024

Girls’ Education Reaches New Heights

The small East African country of Burundi embarked on a mission to change its schooling system, giving all children, including girls, access to quality education, and the results are impressive.

The gross primary enrollment rate was standing at 58% in 2000 and in 2022, that rate reached 118.5%. As for lower secondary school, it went from 32% in 2010 to 40.6% in 2022 with a number of years of schooling going from 6.4 to 7.6.

Burundi decided to expand access to education while maintaining its quality at the primary level back in 2005. With the help of the World Bank-funded Burundi Early Grade Learning Project, it has been possible to boost the primary school curriculum, enhance teaching and learning resources, extend school feeding programs, and provide essential school kits. Bridging the gender gap has been one of the main objectives of Burundian authorities, and in 2011, gender parity in primary enrollment was achieved. In 2023, more girls than boys were enrolled in primary and secondary schools. Female literacy has reached 75% among girls 15-24. This led to many social changes for women: Burundian women marry later than their counterparts in other East African countries, have fewer children, and pursue education. Still, much remains to be done to curb gender disparities – like monthly absenteeism due to menstruation – and improve the educational landscape. The Human Capital Development Project intends to do so by implementing initiatives such as promoting menstrual hygiene education, enhancing sanitation facilities, and providing menstrual products. All those measures contribute to quality education because they aim at dismantling gender barriers.

World Bank

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