In Niger, we have supported the Second-Chance schools, aimed at children aged between 9 and 13 who have never been to school or who left school too early. We supported this programme in close collaboration with the Niger Organisation of Innovative Educators (ONEN) until it was fully integrated into the Nigerien educational landscape in 2022. The infrastructure built during the programme is now available to ONEN and government departments, and continues to welcome students.
Today, we are delighted to share our recent conversation with Koché Nabarey Bachirou. He is originally from Niamey and attended one of the Second-Chance Schools in this region.
Here We Go for an Interview !
Hello Koché, when I heard from you, I couldn’t wait to find out more about your story. What was it like at school for you?
When I was 6, I went to Talladie 1 primary school in Niamey. But when I was 7 and a half, they expelled me because I was unable to achieve an average score.
The Importance of The Language of Instruction
Was is too difficult for you?
I remember lacking the motivation because the teaching was in French and it was too hard for me. My family speaks Hausa at home, as do almost everyone else in the Niamey region. French is the official language in Niger, but for children, it is complicated.
What happened next?
Fortunately, my older brother enrolled me in the School of Second-Chance supported by Enfants du Monde in collaboration with the Nigerien Organization of Innovative Educators until 2022.
There, at the beginning, we were taught in our mother tongues during the first and second years. Some teachers spoke Hausa, Zarma, and Peul. I was 8 years old when I arrived; I felt like I was with my family and the teachers were always attentive to us.
French was spoken in the classes progressively from the 2nd year and entirely in the 3rd and 4th years. I learned to read and write and mathematics. We also had access to professional training such as sewing and gardening.
I have very fond memories of the Second-Chance School and I am still in contact with one of my teachers and visit him whenever I can.
So thanks to the Second-Chance School you were able not only to finish primary school but also to continue your studies?
Yes, that’s right. I left the Second-Chance School when I was 12, then I went on to the CEG (General Education College or Middle School) where I obtained a diploma with a very good average, allowing me to pursue my education at a secondary technical school. I am currently at the University of Dosso, about a hundred kilometers south-east of Niamey.
And Today: The University!!!
In 2022, at the University of Dosso, you received a roll of honour. The little boy who didn’t have the average grades in primary school has come a long way!
Indeed, I was class valedictorian; the 1st of my class in the mathematics section and in October, I started the sixth semester of a master’s program in fundamental mathematics. It’s a path towards a research career, leading to a degree in fundamental mathematics, which will enable me to fulfill my dream of becoming an engineer.
Reading the above, one realises your exceptional journey. On behalf of Children of The World, I would like to convey our congratulations on your success and express our pride in relation to the impact of your time at the Second-Chance School.learn more