Burkina: coalition of student unions calls for “removal of recent conditions in FONER”

Koudougou University (file photo)

ACoffer union structures for students of Norbert ZONGO University, which are ANEB, FESCIBF, FNEEB and UNEF call for “removal of recent conditions at the launch of the 1st FONER meeting for the academic year 2021-2022”

Ladies and gentlemen of the press,

The Coalition of Student Union Structures at Norbert ZONGO University (UNZ) thanks you for your continued willingness to support our actions, despite your busy schedule. This is a testament to your interest in education in general and higher education in particular, as well as in the ongoing struggles to improve its quality and accessibility for the children of the population.

First of all, we will honor a minute of silence in memory of all the victims of the drama that took place at Norbert ZONGOHO University, the last of whom is Comrade TANKOANO Tenipaguiba, a first-year MPCI student at the GEGA University Restaurant, as well as just a memory of all victims of terrorist attacks in our countries.

Well thank you !

Ladies and gentlemen of the press

The main aim of this press briefing is to draw national and international opinion on the suffering experienced by students of Norbert ZONGO University (UNZ) in the same way as students from other universities in the country.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press

Norbert ZONGO University, like other public universities in Burkina Faso, is plunged into a crisis that is deepening from year to year. This crisis, which is only one of the consequences of the application of neoliberal policies in higher education, is manifested, among other things, by poor administrative and financial management of the university, trial and error in programming and teaching, the adoption of policies. the massive exclusion of working-class children from the right of access to science and technology, the negligence and overflowing zeal of the authorities towards the just and legitimate interests of students.

At the academic and pedagogical level, a risky application and without accompanying measures of the license-master-doctorate (LMD) system will plunge UNZ into an academic backwardness that will never equal a academic year without a head and tail. Therefore, no class has a normal academic year (October to July). To this is added a massive failure rate. For example, in SEG Bac 2018 we recorded 269 normal admissions from 1,303 students enrolled in semester 3, ie the failure rate was 79.35%, at UFR / ST in the Mathematics Bac 2018 sector in semester 4 we recorded in a regular lesson. Admitted 10 out of 80 registered students, which is 87.5% failure. As for the MPCI Bac 2019 course, it is the same sad reality with 147 admissions out of 1,500 students enrolled in the 1st semester of the regular session, ie a failure rate of 90.2%.

As if that were not enough, the authorities in charge of the Ministry of Higher Education, in an effort to eliminate this level of education, decided to impose regulations no. 2019-073 and no. 2019-074 concerning the bachelor’s resp. master’s degree regimes whose sole purpose is to empty the university of people’s children to become elitist.

The following transgressions of this reform also testify to this:

  • exclusion of 29 students from the IUT because they did not obtain a general average greater than or equal to 12/20, as provided for in the new general study system;
  • exclusion of some Master’s students I from basic mathematics with an average of 10 or 11, whose only mistake is to obtain a grade lower than 07/20 in one of the modules;
  • denying the right to reorient to students of philosophy in linguistics simply because they have already consumed three enrollments;

In such a situation, our authorities continue to state loud and clear that the aim of this reform is to improve the quality of education. What a cynicism!

Added to this is the inaccessibility of the second cycle due to established conditions such as an average of 12/20 and training costs of 300,000 FCFA or even 500,000 FCFA in certain sectors such as the MPCI.

At the level of infrastructure, the glaring lack of infrastructure (classrooms, libraries, laboratories, computers, toilets, etc.) finally convinced students of the contempt of the administration. It should be borne in mind that the existing ones have no convenience in transferring quality education and in some places pose a danger to students. This is the case with a multi-purpose room rented for 36 million a year, which has no paintings, let alone a sound system.

At the social level, authority has established itself as a true gravedigger of students’ democratic and social success. Indeed, the latest attacks are reforms aimed at strengthening the foundations for aid delivery. These reforms, which require assistance according to the social status of the parents, essentially exclude students from private universities, paradoxically oriented by the state itself. In addition, the average resumption of aid is increasing from 05 to 07 out of 20. From now on, it is not possible to submit aid in a single transcript, despite the glaring delays experienced by our universities.

In addition, it should be noted that the first tranche of assistance for the academic year 2021-2022 has just been launched with a number of documents to be submitted (certificate of non-taxation, parents’ payslip, death certificate if the parent is no longer, etc.) for two months before the end of the academic year. It should also be mentioned that the CIOSPB stipulates that it is no longer possible to draw an interim scholarship for being in a remedial meeting, even at a general average of 19.5 / 20. In addition, we note the abolition of the right to keep scholarships from bachelor’s to master’s.

As for the situation of university restaurants, it is almost unbearable due to the obvious lack of food served. There are barely 8,666 meals for more than 60,000 students for lunch and dinner, or one (01) meal for more than seven (07) students a day. This lack of dishes forces students to leave school and sleep to stand in line sometime at 2:00 and hope that at 11:00 they will have food without any quality and quantity. So it was in these difficult conditions that our comrade TANKOANO Tenipaguiba lost his life in hunger.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press

In light of this long series of difficulties mentioned above, but not exhaustive, it is clear that higher education remains the least problem for university authorities and countries.

It was this situation that led us to numerous steps with the university management. These events include: hearings, general meetings, strikes, marches, meetings, etc. Unfortunately, all these acts were immediately followed by contempt and ignoring our fears. That is why our structures, the members of the coalition, take public opinion to witness the very deep deterioration of the climate and conditions in the UNZ and demand that the university authorities seriously and thoroughly review the minimum platform for action, the points of which are as follows:

  1. Cancellation of FONER texts resulting from the Koudougou workshop and deletion of recent conditions at the opening of the 1st FONER meeting for the academic year 2021-2022;
  2. Increasing the number of meals served in university restaurants and immediate and unconditional reopening of all closed service points;
  3. Supplementing ordinary tickets to digitization in university catering;
  4. Revenue cancellation no. 2019-073 / MESRSI / SG / DGESup and no. 2019-074MESRSI / SG / DGESup on a general study regime for bachelor’s, master’s and research degrees in public and private universities; and its harmonized and consensual examination;
  5. Truth and justice about all the dramas that took place at Norbert ZONGO University and the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the UFR / ST student during the Disciplinary Board meeting on January 13, 2022.

In any case, we consider the deterioration of the social climate in academia to be the sole responsibility of university authorities.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press,

That is the reason for this press conference, thank you for your constant attention and we are at your disposal for your various questions.

Well thank you.

Koudougou, June 4, 2022 Coalition leadership

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