École Publique Badalabougou Bamako, Mali
Abdoulaye Trouré, Director
École Publique Badalabougou (Badalabougou Public School) is a public school on the Right Bank (rive droite) in Bamako, Mali which has provided a quality education for sixty years. While our resources are extremely limited the Malian people place enormous value on learning, dedicating about 20% of our national budget to education. In absolute terms, however, we have very little on an international scale; for example, the per capita GDP of Mali is about 1/50th that of the United States. However, we do the best we can and our school is dedicated to creating opportunity for our youth to enjoy a productive future and to enable Mali to make its contribution to the world.
While our environment may present unique challenges, we are very pleased that iNERDE has a commitment to support public education in Mali and wants to bring a Colonie de Vacances STEM to our school. We have many bright young people who are willing to work very hard and are eager for any opportunity to learn about science and the technologies that are commonplace in the developed world.
École Publique Badalabougou has been a leader in the Malian public school system in promoting science education. Our school was the first educational institution on Bamako’s Right Bank with a dedicated unit for instruction in the sciences; unfortunately, that unit is currently not operational due to resource constraints. The limitations of our environment, including lack of internet access, have handicapped our efforts to motivate the interest of our students in the sciences and to give them the solid foundation needed to understand and participate in the modern world. We believe that the iNERDE Colonie de Vacances STEM will open a window into that world for some of our most promising young people.
École Publique Badalabougou educates over 1500 students, with about 300 in 4th and 5th grades. We would like to give as many of them as possible exposure to sciences and technology and an introduction to computing through the iNERDE Colonie de Vacances STEM. Our students come from lower income families that cannot afford the richer environment that private schools in Mali provide but they are eager and motivated to learn and they are the future of our country. We give them a good background in mathematics and we teach them critical observations skills in our science curriculum but we need to give them some exposure to real world applications of science and technology.
The lack of any real world experience with science and technology has the result that over 2/3 of our students chose an orientation toward letters where there are few jobs and not toward technical fields. Our country has a massive problem of unemployment yet there is also an immense shortage of skilled technical workers in areas where there are employment opportunities. The iNERDE STEM program can be a catalyst to bringing new awareness to our young people of that type of opportunities that can exist and be created by their initiative.
We thank you for your interest in École Publique Badalabougou and for your support of public education in Mali and for your desire to create a world where there is opportunity for every young person to realize their dreams.
WOULD YOUR LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SPONSORING A STEM SUMMER CAMP AT ÉCOLE PUBLIQUE BADALABOUGOU ? CONTACT INERDE’S DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, MICHAEL LEVENTHAL, AT MLEVENTHAL@INERDE.ORG.