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AFCON 2023: Why Secondary School Girls Wear Long ‘Village’ Skirts in Host Nation Ivory Coast, Photos
- Ivory Coast earned the hosting rights of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
- Amidst the ongoing continental showpiece, it is observed that the educational system in the nation is unique
- Secondary education is modelled to last seven years, and girls must dress in long skirts
Nigeria's clash against Ivory Coast on February 11 will bring to an end the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after four weeks of riveting football action.
But away from the tournament that has served high-quality football and surprises along the way, interesting observations were made on the state and style of education in the host country
During a visit to Lycée Classique de Cocody (Classic High School) in Abidjan at the CAF Kick and Learn Programme on the International Day of Education, it was observed that school girls were dressed in shirts and long skirts.
The Confederation of African Football organised the event, which included fun practice, motivational talks, Q&A sessions, and opportunities for media interviews on Wednesday, January 31.
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Expected at the exercise were two African football legends, Salomon Kalou and Elhadji Diouf, but it was the former Chelsea forward who showed up.
Amidst the activities lined up for the day, efforts were made to speak with a teacher about why the girls wear long skirts that reach their feet.
Ivory Coast High School structure
It was gathered that the education model in the West African nation is similar to that of the French, unlike what is obtainable in English-speaking West African countries.
RocApply reports that Secondary education in the country lasts 7 years and is divided into middle school for four years, which culminates in a Brevet d’etudes du premier cycle or lower secondary education certificate, and high school, which lasts three years, after which students sit for the baccalaureate.
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The baccalaureate will allow access to college or university. Middle school usually starts from grades 6 to 9, while high school encompasses grades 10 to 12.
Morning and evening classes in Ivory Coast
In a chat with an English language teacher, who gave his name as Mr Gbeada, it was gathered that the secondary school program lasts for seven years (Form 1 to Form 7).
While students are expected in school as early as 7 am, there is usually a break at 12.30 pm.
Students who still have classes to take would have to return to the school in the afternoon to further their academics, which would see them remain in school until 6 pm.
However, on Wednesdays, most classes end at 12.30 pm to allow students participate in extra-curricular activities.
Why girls wear long skirts in Ivory Coast schools
English teacher Mr Gbeada disclosed that female students in Ivory Coast are not allowed to expose their bodies.
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He told Sports Brief:
"Our girls are disciplined. They are not allowed to expose their bodies, and that is why they wear long village-like skirts."
"As you can see, their hairstyles are the same, and the erring ones are made to cut their hair."
Amokachi reiterates importance of education
Sports Brief earlier reported that Nigerian veteran forward Daniel Amokachi reiterated the importance of education in football during a recent CAF-organised event in Ivory Coast.
The former Everton forward is one of the African football legends presently in Abidjan for the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The African football governing body and local schools hosted a 'Kick and Learn' event on Wednesday, January 31, with football legends raising awareness about the importance of education in the sport.