Friday, December 05, 2008

“School has no value any more.”

“Most families can no longer afford to worry about whether their child does well in school,” a woman in the north-central town of Séguéla told IRIN. “Most now send their children to the fields or to sell in the market just to make a bit of money for food - especially the girls.” She added that since state teachers fled in the 2002 rebellion and schools fell apart, the education infrastructure has not recovered.

Slightly under half of Côte d’Ivoire’s 20 million people are now below the poverty threshold, living on less than about US$1.25 per day - up from 38.4 percent in 2000 and the highest in 20 years, according to results released by the national statistics institute .

70 percent of Ivoirians have difficulty eating adequately and 68 percent cannot afford proper treatment when ill.

“The state is creating thieves, prostitutes and liars,” said a would-be university student in Séguéla “When a person has absolutely nothing to eat and no money, what do you want them to do?”

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