And You Thought Our Education System Had Problems…
It’s been a slow news weekend for Missouri, so I’ve decided to write about Somalia. That’s right; our public schools look pretty good in comparison:
The only government funding in the last 16 years came four years ago when the local warlord offered to pay teacher salaries at seven schools in the region. But the warlord, Mohammed Dheere, who is now Mogadishu’s mayor, raised the money in part by taxing teachers’ income.
The quote is from an article in the L.A. Times. This reminds me of Andrew Coulson’s research on private schools in poor parts of the world. Coulson describes schools that charge only a few cents per day in tuition (and parents can pay by the day as they go). Despite their constraints, some of these schools surpass local government schools in English instruction, computer literacy, and other subjects. However, you need some basic level of political stability to maintain private businesses like that, so I doubt private schools have made much headway in Somalia.
When you think about the tough odds schools face in other countries, the claims of Missouri school districts that our schools don’t receive adequate funding are less believable. If activists on shoestring budgets can work for universal education in Jowhar, we should be able to teach kids in St. Louis with $390 million.