Success Story: Mali EESA Construction of New Classrooms in Tin Arabe Signals a Bright Future for Students
Tin Arabe, located in the rural commune of Ouinerden in Timbuktu, is a predominantly nomadic community. The primary school in Tin Arabe faced significant challenges due to the lack of educational infrastructure, unpredictable climatic hazards, and effects of the socio-political crisis of 2012. The community previously had built one temporary learning space using straw and mud bricks to serve as a classroom, but it was too small for the 147 students, including 62 female students. Though the two teachers divided the students into two groups, so that their classes occurred at different times, the space was too small for a conducive learning environment, which prevented the teachers from providing the students with a quality education.
The CAMRIS-implemented, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Mali Education Emergency Support Activity (EESA), which aims to increase equitable access to basic education for children who are affected by the conflict in Mali, conducted an initial assessment in the area and selected to support the Tin Arabe school by constructing three new classrooms equipped with benches, desks and drawers, two blocks of three latrines, a storage room, and an office for the school director. The handover of the new school took place on February 19, 2018.
Alhader Ag Hamada, the project manager of the School Management Committee (CGS) for the Tin Arabe Village Primary School, stated: “USAID’s support is appreciated by all the members of the CGS and the entire community. The school has been given three new classrooms, allowing students to have a secure school environment and guaranteeing a promising future for them.” He further added,“It is because of the USAID/Mali EESA project that the community of Tin Arabe managed to secure additional infrastructure from other partners, including a community health center.”
Mali EESA’s support has led to an increase in the number of students at Tin Arabe, from 147 students to 200 students, including 90 female students, and has improved student retention. Moreover, the school has hired an additional teacher, brining the total to three teachers at the school.
In addition to Tin Arabe, 15 other EESA-target communities have benefited from new school construction in the regions of Ségou, Mopti, Gao, and Timbuktu. As of March 31, 2018, 42 out of 60 originally planned classrooms have been built and donated to the communities.
Photo Credit: Dramane Djiguiba, School and Community Engagement Specialist