Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Worst Places for Schoolchildren?

I came across an article called "The 10 Worst Places to Be a School-Aged Child." It's based on a study by the South African-based Global Campaign for Education. Here's their list of the top ten worst countries for school-kids.
1. Somalia
2. Eritrea
3. Haiti
4. Comoros
5. Ethiopia
6. Chad
7. Burkina Faso
8. Central African Republic
9. Mozambique
10. Zimbabwe
Other than Haiti, it appears that Africa has cornered the market on bad places for schoolchildren. According to the linked article, the criteria include: "access to basic education, teacher-to-student ratio and a lack of educational provisions for girls." With those factors in mind, there seem to be some major omissions. Two countries that spring immediately to mind are Afghanistan and Congo. Is school-age education really worse in Ethiopia than in Afghanistan, which is not only ravaged by war, but has terrorists regularly blowing up schools for girls? And I know Haiti is bad, but is it worse off than Congo, the rape capital of the world? If I were forced to send my son to a random foreign school and had to choose between Congo and Haiti, I'd take Haiti in a second.

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