Education

Activists call on National Assembly to cancel Education Ministry’s decision

Five local NGOs fighting for children, girls and women’s rights have sent a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly asking him to suspend the 3rd paragraph of the measure by the ministry of education. The latter is about sanctions imposed on the victims of unwanted pregnancies while they are still students.

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“The education minister’s decision violates national and international conventions on human rights”

“The education minister’s decision violates national and international conventions on human rights”

hey say the measure taken by the education minister prevents victims of unwanted pregnancies while they are still studying in fundamental or post fundamental school from continuing with formal education although it gives them access to vocational education.

For them, it violates national and international conventions on human rights and could endanger people’s lives if it is not suspended.
“The decision goes against the Burundian Constitution in its Article 53 stating that every citizen has the right to equal access to instruction, education, and culture,” reads the letter.

They also say this note does not conform to the convention of children’s rights which states in Article 28, that parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity.

They also say the measure violates the law No 1/13 of 22 September 2016 on the prevention of gender based violence – GBV and protection of their victims in Article 16, 17 ,18, all stating that a victim of gender based violence has the right to return to school and should be facilitated by school officials.

These organizations fighting for children, girls and women’s rights say the Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training should protect victims of GBV instead of discriminating them as different national and international conventions specify it.

They therefore call on the Speaker of the National Assembly to use the power that the law gives him to suspend that the measure which, according to them, is anti-constitutional.

These five local NGOs (FENADEB, SOJPAE, APRODEM, AFJB, APFB) recognize, however, the high number of pregnancies in schools but suggest other strategies to handle this situation such as increasing sensitization sessions on the consequences of sexual act among students.

This minister’s decision preventing victims of unwanted pregnancies while they are still students from continuing with formal education, was announced on June 26 and was strongly criticized by different people.

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