World Police?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Janie's Post: America may Help Kenya and Others Learn as It Learns

“In large measure, the idea of free education has gained powerful momentum because politicians in democratizing African nations have found it a great vote-getter. Deepening poverty had meant even small annual school fees - less than an American family would spend on a single fast-food meal - had put education beyond reach for millions.” (nytimes.com)
This article tells of how Kenya decision to abolish fees for primary education has had positive and negative affects on Kenya and its people. Kenya was charging a mere $16 a year for primary education, which is less than what most Americans spend in one day. After abolishing this fee, because parents of Kenya and other places in Africa were struggling to pay it, millions of kids were crowded into the small, undeveloped Kenyan schools. This sounds really good, but it is not good considering the fact that there is a great teacher shortage and most teachers have up to 240 students and barely know the students’ names. As a result, many students are left behind because they are not functioning to the capacity of the group as a whole.
"I was always working and working," she said. "I told myself that the best way to get out of this is to come to school and get an education,” said a 12 year old student of Kenya.
Education is key, but with overcrowded schools and starving kids, learning is hard. America on the other hand have classes that a considered overcrowded if there are over 25 students. Why isn’t America helping? With a few funds to be given to the African and Kenyan school systems, classes will be smaller and food will be more abundant. As a result, kids will learn, grow up to be more successful, and will help end the cycle of poverty.

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