What is it about?

Education provides a firm basis to improve your own and your community’s quality of live in several ways. Substantial gains have been made at the primary school level, but progress towards universal secondary education has slowed, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. We elicited the perceived barriers of secondary schooling in rural Burkina Faso. To do so, we used semi-structured interviews (N = 49) to listen to enrolled students, out-of-school adolescents, parents of enrolled students, parents of out-of-school adolescents, teachers and key informants who were knowledgeable of the school context. Systematic analysis of interview transcripts and coding with the diathesis-stress model in mind helped classifying recurring themes in different categories of barriers to secondary schooling.

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Why is it important?

We elicited the perceived barriers to secondary education to guide future interventions and policy aimed at achieving universal secondary education and gender equity in rural Burkina Faso and broader region. We characterized a wide range of perceived barriers to secondary education, including economic, health, psychological, sociocultural, and structural factors. Major reported barriers included school-related expenses, the lack of school infrastructure and resources, and insufficient and heterogeneous French language skills (the official language of instruction in Burkina Faso). Forced marriages, adolescent pregnancies, and the low perceived economic benefits of investing in secondary schooling were reported as key barriers among young women.

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This page is a summary of: “It’s the poverty”—Stakeholder perspectives on barriers to secondary education in rural Burkina Faso, PLoS ONE, November 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277822.
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