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Burundi: Education

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the government of Burundi on educational development. (138589)

I recently announced financial support for education in post-conflict states, including £6 million to Burundi over three years.

I discussed our programme in Burundi, which has a strong focus on education, with the 1st Vice-President when he was in London last month. The Burundi Minister of Education and Culture also called on DFID during his visit to the UK in March, to explain the challenges facing the education sector in Burundi and how we might help them.

We recognise the need to help the government provide access to quality education and a peace dividend for people who suffered over 12 years of civil war, which is why we provided support to Burundi to help implement the policy of free primary education, announced at the President's inauguration in August 2005. This included building and rehabilitating schools, training teachers and providing textbooks, which helped increase enrolment by around 40,000. Since then DFID has worked closely with the government of Burundi and a range of other partners on the development of a sector plan for educational development, and on financing arrangements. We are also working with the government to help them gain endorsement of their sector plan and entry to the Education-For-All fast track initiative.