Burkina Faso teachers return to school, after militants threats

Dozens of teachers in Burkina Faso who fled into hiding after receiving threats from militants have returned to their classrooms and will receive psychological support after one of them was killed by suspected militants, officials said.

According to education minister headmaster Salifou Badini and another resident were assassinated by armed men, some months ago.

“They were trying to create a general psychosis to stop education in this country.

Teachers and families have returned but we still have about 10 schools missing teachers due to trauma,” Jean-Martin Coulibaly.

Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries on the southern fringes of the Sahara, has a reputation for tolerance and historically enjoyed harmonious relations between the Muslim majority and its smaller Catholic and animist populations.

Officials in Burkina Faso blame the deteriorating security climate in Mali for the threats.

Coulibaly declined to say how many teachers had fled but said a figure of around 1,600 cited in local media was exaggerated. A teachers’ union said militants had threatened or attacked teachers in at least four schools this year.

A survey of children in 41 countries by ChildFund Alliance last year found that danger was reported most in Burkina Faso, where one in five children said school was never safe.

Burkina Faso says it has carried out operations in the border areas in recent weeks to boost security.