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August 7, 2018

Children in the Tomoni Village of Segou, Mali Return to School Thanks to Community Dialogue Initiatives

Community-based school management associations are more determined than ever to assume their roles and responsibilities to ensure access to safe and successful schools in their communities.

The conflict that has raged in Mali since 2012 continues to affect the regions of Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal and Mopti, and a portion of the region of Segou. In support of the Ministry of Education’s ongoing efforts to ensure children in conflict zones have access to quality education, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Education Emergency Support Activity (EESA).

The school in Tomoni is one of 40 schools in the district of Niono (region of Segou) to benefit from the distribution of learning materials, support to school-based associations, construction and rehabilitation of school buildings; psycho-social support, and training on gender and gender-based violence, all provided by USAID/Mali EESA. Along with eight other schools benefiting from project support, the Tomoni school was forced to close due to jihadist activity, and therefore held no classes or school activities in the 2017-18 school year.

Anxious over the future for the children in the area, the director of the Centre d’animation Pédagogique (the district-level branch of the Ministry of Education, commonly referred to as the CAP) of Niono, with support from USAID-EESA, convened a day of dialogue in the affected communities. The primary objective was to establish a strategy to reopen the nine closed schools. The community event took place on April 16, 2018 with the Deputy Prefect of Niono presiding, and in the presence of the Director of the Académie d’Enseignement (the regional branch of the Ministry of Education, commonly referred to as the AE), the Director of the Niono CAP, the Deputy Prefect of Sokolo, the Mayor of the commune of Diabaly, representatives of the nine village communities, and representatives of the project.

The school communities committed to facilitating the teachers’ return and raising awareness of the imminent resumption of classes among students’ parents. Following the community dialogue and these commitments, the nine schools of Niono, including the school of Tomoni, opened in early May 2018, in time for children to complete the current school year.

Anxious over the future for the children in the area, the director of the Centre d’animation Pédagogique (the district-level branch of the Ministry of Education, commonly referred to as the CAP) of Niono, with support from USAID-EESA, convened a day of dialogue in the affected communities. The primary objective was to establish a strategy to reopen the nine closed schools. The community event took place on April 16, 2018 with the Deputy Prefect of Niono presiding, and in the presence of the Director of the Académie d’Enseignement (the regional branch of the Ministry of Education, commonly referred to as the AE), the Director of the Niono CAP, the Deputy Prefect of Sokolo, the Mayor of the commune of Diabaly, representatives of the nine village communities, and representatives of the project.

The school communities committed to facilitating the teachers’ return and raising awareness of the imminent resumption of classes among students’ parents. Following the community dialogue and these commitments, the nine schools of Niono, including the school of Tomoni, opened in early May 2018, in time for children to complete the current school year.