Burundi: boarding schools are no longer able to adequately feed students

Burundi: boarding schools are no longer able to adequately feed students

A sum of 800 Burundian francs per day and per student was irregularly provided by the government. After negotiation it added 100 Burundian francs. “An insufficient amount”, say school principals in the north-eastern provinces of Burundi, including the provinces of Kayanza, Ngozi, Kirundo and Muyinga. They say they are no longer trustworthy in the face of traders who advance them food on credit. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Some heads of boarding secondary schools in the north-eastern provinces of Burundi: Kayanza, Ngozi, Muyinga and Kirundo report that they find themselves unable to feed students following soaring food prices on the market.

They say on condition of anonymity that, they have repeatedly shown their minister that the state subsidies are insignificant, to no avail.

The answer was always
“whoever is unable to do so should report it in time. We will look for a replacement. There are many who need this position”, according to a director whose establishment has more than 600 students.

“The prices on the market are very high. A kg of beans, which cost between 900 and 1,100 francs a few months ago, is currently bought at 1,700. The price of a kilogram of rice has risen between 1,800 and 2,500 Burundian francs. A kilogram of maize flour which cost between 1,200 and 1,500 now sells for 2,000 or even 2,200 francs. A kilogram of cassava flour which cost between 900 and 1,000 is now bought at 1,600 Burundian francs”, a director of school complains.

The schools officials say they have been negotiating with the government to increase the ration. They got an increase of 100 Burundian francs to the 800 per pupil per day.

“A very small sum. We are always forced to incur food debts from suppliers who begin to worry about that. We are no longer credible towards them, especially since payment delays and is irregular,” revealed a school official.

“We expect student strikes if nothing changes,” he fears.

The Burundian government through the ministry of education has set the school fees at 45,000 Burundian francs per term.

“A very heavy burden for most parents,” said a father.

School officials create school needs to submit to parents’ assemblies to get their financing “which seems very abusive to most.”

School principals are calling on the government to take this issue seriously.

A spokesperson for the ministry of education was not available to give his comment on the issue.

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