Good Intentions Pregnant With Unintended Consequences

Sunday, July 27, 2008

SCHOOL CHILDRENThat Ghana’s school feeding programme, (an ambitious UN centrist plan to ensure that at least half of the world’s children are in school by 2015) faces imminent collapse is an understatement. The scheme faces financial challenges, major donors are not prepared to support. So, the Ghanaian government is contemplating "special taxes" to supplement the myriad of taxes they already collect from ordinary Ghanaians in order to feed children in public schools. Obviously, the government believes tax paying parents do not know what best to feed their children should they be spared the taxes. A populist project such as feeding children in school in order to enhance enrolment figures ignores the challenges facing public education in the developing world; dilapidated classrooms, inadequate text books and furniture, poorly paid teachers. It even defeats noble attempts to educate pupils in humane conditions through private schools for the poor.

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