Benin, a small country in West Africa, is one of Africa’s poorest. The key component for its development is undoubtedly schooling, considering that more than 60% of the population is illiterate and that no less than 40 ethnic groups with different languages cohabitate on the national territory. The majority of public schools have a chronic shortage of classrooms, teaching material and teachers, who are sometimes recruited and paid by the pupils’ parents.
Cotiakou is a small village in the far north of Benin, in the region of Atakora. The village, as capital of the district, is home to the primary school and, since 2011, the CEG (Collège d’Enseignement Général). Only three classrooms were available for the four classes. The teaching material provided by the school was limited to the desks.