In Mopti, basic education opportunities are difficult to access and of low quality, with major disparities between girls and boys and rural and urban areas. Primary school enrolment is under 50 percent and the literacy rate is as low as 10 percent for women.
Getting young children in school and engaging them in quality learning is a major challenge. It involves not only pedagogical support and training, but also attention to factors outside of the classroom: Do children often stay home with diahrroea due to unclean water? Do they have trouble concentrating in school because they arrive on empty stomachs? Is education a priority for parents? To address these education challenges, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is working with public schools, private community schools and early childhood development (ECD) centres in Mopti Region to improve access to quality education.
Core activities focus on improving teaching and learning by promoting the development of low or no cost teaching and learning materials, introducing child-centred pedagogical approaches and improving the instruction of specific subjects, especially French language, science and math. The Foundation has helped develop infrastucture, provided school furniture, equipment and scholastic materials to 21 schools. Support was also provided to students who moved to Mopti following the security problems in the North of the country.
In addition, with financing from UNICEF and the World Bank, AKF has already supported the building and equipping of eleven Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in the region. In a new programme launched in 2014, in partnership with Plan International, World Vision and Save the Children, the Aga Khan Foundation will support 10,000 children in 12 communes around Mopti and Djenne by building 12 schools and 10 early childhood development centres. The project will also improve the training of 168 teachers and close to 100 parent educators, provide 27 latrines and 34 wells to improve hygiene, and build 8 large scale canteens to improve the nutrition of students.
Together with new school equipment, the project will also set up School Management Committees to engage in the local communities in the operations and management of the new facilities.