Offering free education, making it compulsory and supporting it politically has been the winning strategy behind Burundi's successful bid to ensure that virtually all children get a primary school education. In this interview from the Africa Report website, UNICEF's representative in Burundi, Johannes Wedenig, expatiates on government's positive role in this development. There have been some major drawbacks to such an avalanche of new students, Wedenig admits. Not enough of qualified teachers, classrooms, desks and books has created real bottlenecks. So one of the 'side effects' to the surge in school attendance, notes Wedenig, has been overcrowding and an increase in the pupil-to-teacher ratio.
Oct 15, 2012