The Togolese educational system is challenged by severe financial constraints due to constrained socio- economic conditions and suspension of cooperation with key development partners. This situation, in parallel with the high demand for schooling has resulted in a deteriorating education system.
The primary education system has experienced a gradual degradation in the performance indicators during the recent years. About 10 % of the children do not attend school and about 30% of those who start school do not complete it. Consequently, only 60 % of the children of today’s generation will actually fulfil primary school. This is the reality in a country where the school fee is paid for by the Government since 2011. The situation is not only a concern for the children and their families but also for the Togolese Government and the International community when it comes to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, specifically the goal of the universal primary education in Togo. Consequently, the Togolese Government’s set as target that all children in Togo attend and complete primary education before the end of the year 2015.
To support the efforts of the Government, SEVIE and Action10 aims at providing educational support to at least 300 vulnerable children in the years to come. The joint “Basic education and children abuse prevention in Togo program was initiated already in 2009, and the program has become stronger each year. In 2009 we started with 10 children and a small program of support, now 200 children have joined the program and the activities included are many and ambitious.
Analysis of the situation of the vulnerable children
Before the implementation of the program the children now attending the program were living under very demanding conditions and the children’s rights were not an issue in their villages. From interviews with the children at that time they shared that they were abandoned and alone, their clothes were dirty and in rags, they were often sick, they were hungry and suffered from malnutrition, there were very rudely treated and had to work hard in the agricultural sector, they were lacking general hygiene. They only attended school in an irregularly manner and they were often absent from home. The children felt anxious and they were sad.
As a result of the program the same children now tell us that they live under in good conditions. They explain that they have access to good and nutritious food, good cloths and that their school supplies are up to date. They share that they are in good health and that they are clean. We can see that the children are more happy, they are friendly, cheerful, and at ease with life. The children of our program are active, they attend school regularly, they are hardworking and knowledgeable about the school subjects, they manage the exams and they spend more time at home.
The children express their joy over the S.E.VIE Action10 program and they are grateful. Parents, caretakers and teachers have pledged to work alongside S.E.VIE and Action10 for the education of the vulnerable children and for providing them a positive future.