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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 17:22 GMT
School Day 24: Ivory Coast
Composite of pupils at Abidjan and Bouake schools

Two schools in Ivory Coast - one in Bouake in the rebel-controlled north and one in the government-controlled south, Abidjan - linked up for a discussion on 6 December, 2006.

Click on the links below to read about the link-up.

Read about the two schools that took part below.

Lycee Classique de Bouake, Bouake, Ivory Coast

Lycee Classique de Bouake, Bouake, Ivory Coast
Lycee Classique de Bouake has about 2,000 students

Lycee Classique de Bouake is in the capital of the rebel-controlled territory in northern Ivory Coast.

The school has about 2,000 students in 32 classes. Class sizes are large, normally 72 children, but sometimes many more. In theory, children from the age of 11 to 18 attend but there are quite a few students who are older than that.

In most schools in the north, the children are taught by students, but the Lycee Classique is an exception: classes are run by fully-qualified teachers.

Lycee Moderne d'Attecoube, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Lycee Moderne d'Attecoube, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Lycee Moderne d'Attecoube has about 8,000 students

Lycee Moderne d'Attecoube is in the commercial capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan.

This is a huge school, with something like 8,000 students in about 100 classes - it's not easy to count! As in Bouake, the average class size is more than 70, and there are sometimes even more students than that.

The age range is also the same as Bouake, 11 to 18 in theory, but in practice there are many older children. This is because the Ivorian education system - like the French - requires students to repeat a year if they do not pass the exams.

Read the interaction between the pupils in the north and students in the south below.

Question from the presenter to the pupils

In Abidjan, do you have the feeling that the war is present? Ruth-Constance, you're 15 years old, I think, and you spent some time in the north of the country. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience? Did you have the feeling that the war was more present there?

Ruth-Constance, 15, Abidjan: Well, it was a little bit difficult for me. I could feel that the war was still not over. Every time I woke up, I was wondering: "How can I go back to Abidjan?"

Question from the presenter to Ruth-Constance

Was the mood different from the one in Abidjan, for instance?

Ruth-Constance, 15, Abidjan: Well, the mood was very different because in Bondoukou, I was in a quiet area which is very different from Abidjan. In Abidjan, I live in a lively area.

Dialogue between the presenter and the pupils about the causes of the conflict

Daniele, 16, Bouake: It was meant to happen.

Map of Ivory Coast

Presenter: Why?

Daniele, 16, Bouake: It's not the politicians, in my opinion. It depends on us.

Presenter: What do you mean?

Daniele, 16, Bouake: It seems to me that we could understand each other.

Barnabe, 16, Bouake: I think it happened because God wanted it to happen. Everything that God suggests, human beings can't interfere. God wanted it to happen to teach us a lesson. We can't do anything about it.

Presenter: Does it mean that the people can't solve the crisis?

Barnabe, 16, Bouake: Well, if they want to solve it, they can sit down, talk about it and it will stop.

Dialogue between the presenter and the pupils about what they want the politicians to do

Abdul, 15, Bouake: I would like to tell them that they should stop thinking only about themselves. We, the children, we are here. As long as we are here, the country will live in peace. They should try to think about us for a few minutes. Because I'd like the peace that we are talking about to become a reality, for us all to live in peace. The Ivory Coast is a country of peace, prosperity, where it is nice to live.

Barnabe, 16, Bouake: I'd also like the politicians to sit down to talk. Because if they don't talk, there will be a misunderstanding. And the war will never stop.

Daniele, 16. Bouake: It's true. They only think about themselves because the majority of politicians, their children, they aren't here. They live in Europe. We are poor children. So, they don't care about us. They are telling us to think about the future. But if the present is not correct, how can we think about the future?


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