Friday, July 16, 2010

Money Issues

Money trouble
I was teaching my year 5 class and was interrupted by the principal.”The only kids allowed to go to the bathroom today are….” And then listed three children’s names. Kids needed to provide money for toilet paper, and a few brought in the money.
It is so sad that these kids who have to go to the bathroom aren’t allowed to because of money. “It isn’t healthy of them not to use toilet paper, or use hard paper.” I agree with that somewhat, but it is also not healthy for kids to hold in it in for so long.
Today more kids brought in toilet paper money, but it still isn’t everyone. I can’t imagine a rule like that in the States.
This term school enrollment has changed. There are a few new faces around the building, and a few old faces gone. I talked to one person and my village and found out the reason why.
Every term the kids have to pay a school fee of ten tala, about $4 US. It is too expensive for some families so some of the kids are unable to attend school.
An example of this is this one family in my village. They live far away towards the mountains and don’t have much money. They have three kids and that is $30 tala a term that they would have to spend. That is more money than they can afford.
One of the kid’s aunts decided to host the child for the school semester. She is providing the school tuition fee, helping with the school fees, and feeding her. The girl is ten years old and it is her first time attending school.
TEN YEARS OLD! It just seems crazy to me.
I know other Peace Corps volunteers have run into the same issues. Some of the kids are 13 and attending school for the first time.
It makes more sense for me seeing first hand why kids struggle at school. There are other financial obligations for the families that cone before school. Kids also have many obligations at home that the families feel are more important than school.
It is sad to see money being such an issue in schools.

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