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Manjo's Story Part I


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Read more about Manjo, a young boy from Madagascar, and meet his family and teacher in this photo journal documenting his experiences in school. (part I)

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Manjo's Story Part I

  1. 1. Schools forMadagascar Making the gradeEducation Toolkit Madagascar
  2. 2. Despite its image as a tropical paradise,Madagascar is an island with immense challenges.Despite its image as a tropical paradise, Madagascar is an improvements in quality. Today, if Madagascar is to achieveisland with immense challenges. Its population of nearly 20 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number two — amillion may live in beautiful surroundings, but the country primary education for all by the year 2015 — it will needremains one of the poorest in the world: Nearly 69% of the to rely on increased external support.population are considered ‘poor’ and 44% ‘extremely poor’. Education is essential to help lift the population of Not enough classroomsMadagascar out of poverty. It begins with working to secure One of the major constraints facing primary education ina primary education for all by the year 2015. Madagascar is that for every 100 children who enter the Up until the political crisis of 2009 Madagascar was on first grade, only 60 will complete the full five-year cycle.track to achieve Education for All. The number of children The average Malagasy adult completes only 4.4 years ofenrolled in primary school had increased from almost 2.5 school. The low completion rate is a direct result of a lackmillion in 2001-2002 to nearly 4.5 million in 2008-2009. In of capacity: Madagascar does not have enough trainedsuch a poor country these primary school enrollment rates teachers and it does not have enough classrooms.were particularly impressive. Madagascar will need to build 2000-3000 classrooms But the situation is now worsening; most households have every year between now and 2015 if it is to achieve primaryexperienced a loss in revenues and public budgets have been education for all. (This figure does not include rehabilitatingcut. Poverty increases the likelihood of children not atten- all the classrooms currently damaged or destroyed inding school, and the depletion in government funds has cyclones). The environmental impact of such a buildingmeant a halt to the expansion of access in education and to program is overwhelming: In a country where deforestation Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 01
  3. 3. has already claimed almost 90% of the island’s natural However, achieving ‘Education for All’ requires more thanforests, building this many classrooms with traditional simply building or rehabilitating classrooms. The majority oftechniques and local forest materials would be a disaster. pupils in Madagascar study in classrooms with poorly trained teachers, few learning materials and even fewer amenities:Targeting the most vulnerable Just 13% of public primary schools have access to water andUNICEF believes the greatest improvements in education only 24% have latrines. UNICEF is working with communitieswill come from targeting vulnerable communities — remote and education officials to improve this.communities where children’s access to a complete primaryeducation is the most challenging. Fourteen percent of Contracts for successcommunities in Madagascar have no school; in 19% of the Since 2005 UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Nationalcountry’s school districts more than 40% of primary schools Education (MNE) in developing a participatory, community-are incomplete, offering only two to three years of educa- based approach to school improvement in more than 3,000tion. In addition, in many school districts cyclones damage primary schools. Principals, teachers, students, parents andor destroy hundreds of classrooms each year. For UNICEF, the community leaders are brought together to identify specificmore classrooms that can be built and rehabilitated in these actions to improve education in their community. A ‘Contractvulnerable areas, the greater the impact on the numbers of for School Success’ (CPRS) is drawn up where each party listschildren who can attend school. UNICEF’s innovative and their commitments to support the agreed actions. Inenvironmentally friendly building techniques will ensure Madagascar, where there is such a diversity of cultural,that this is not done at the expense of the environment. economic and geographic conditions, the contracts approach Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 02
  4. 4. is the one most likely to lead to lasting improvements in capable of introducing effective innovations for improvedchildren’s education because it adapts solutions to the local access to and quality of education. With further financialcontexts, and mobilizes local commitment to change. resources UNICEF can use its influence to help keep education in Madagascar on track. UNICEF is in a goodchild-friendly schools position to contribute so that Madagascar does not loseUNICEF promotes child-friendly schools — schools that are the immense gains made in primary school enrollmentconcerned with the whole child and his or her wellbeing as and completion in previous years.a learner. Such schools consider child-friendly teachingmethods, child protection, health and nutrition, water and In this booklet and its short companion videos (availablesanitation, school environment and safety, environmental at, youprotection issues, inclusion, non-discrimination and non- will meet children from three vulnerable communities asviolence — in short, all the issues that affect a child’s they start the new school year. Manjo attends an incompletemotivation for coming to school, for staying there, and school, Dorlys has no school in her village, and Angita’sfor obtaining a quality education. classroom was destroyed in a cyclone. Their stories are representative of the experiences of many children inA better future Madagascar and explain exactly why UNICEF’s approachUNICEF has an established reputation in Madagascar. With to education is important.its considerable influence at both the grassroots and policy With your help UNICEF can support the efforts of teachers,levels it is a strong partner to the Education Ministry. It is parents and children in Madagascar to create a better future. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 03
  5. 5. Making the grade incomplete cycle schoolsIn Madagascar, 400,000 children (14%) between the ages of education eventually comes to a standstill. The choicessix and ten are out of school. Of those that are in school, available to them are to drop out of school altogether, or15% will begin their education in incomplete schools, or to continue to repeat the same grade over and over againschools that offer only two or three years of the complete in the hope that one day they will be able to move on.five-year primary cycle. In poorer regions, like Androy in the Sam ‘Manjo’ Manjomasy, who you will meet in thearid South of the country, almost half of all primary schools following pages, is a student at Ankilimanintsy II primaryare incomplete cycle schools. school. It is a small rural school in Androy region that only Some of the children who attend these schools will go on offers first and second grade. We meet Manjo as he startsto continue their education at complete cycle schools, often the second grade for the third time, with high hopes thatwalking long distances to attend. For most, however, their this will be the year his school finally makes the grade.
  6. 6. My name is Sam Manjomasy. I am 13 years old. My friends call me Manjo, which means ‘achieve well’. One day I want to be a policeman. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 05
  7. 7. [ ] Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 06
  8. 8. Sam ‘Manjo’ ManjomasyManjo, 13, is a student at Ankilimanintsy II primary school. This year he will repeat the second grade for the third time.Today is the start of a new school year. I am glad that school is starting. hands before they eat and about washing the plates and spoons. NowI like it. This year, I will be in the second grade again. I really want to go they do these things. Before they did not.on to grade three, but my school only goes to grade two, and my Because I know everything we are learning in school it is my job tomother can’t a ord to send me to another school. help the teacher: I help her to bring in the school materials at the start Ten other children in my class are also repeating the second grade. of the day and put them away at the end of the day. Sometimes sheOnly one of them has repeated as many times as I have. Others drop asks me to help the younger children with their reading or to keep theout instead of repeating and repeating. They stay at home and help rst grade quiet. I like it because it feels like I am a teacher too.their parents work in the elds. When I was younger my mother wanted me to be a doctor. Later, I feel sad about having to repeat, but rather than drop out, I prefer when I could think for myself, I decided I wanted to be a policeman. Ito stay in grade two. I like to learn, and I believe — I hope — one day like the look of policemen. I like their uniforms. I also know thatthey will send a second teacher to our school and then I will be able to policemen have money to buy things. There are policemen on themove on to grade three. road not far from the school. I always see them buying things to eat, Going to school is good. I can help my mother. She asks me to read like beer and meat. I am not sure how many years I would have to goletters and count money. She has me write any letters she needs to to school to become a policeman. Maybe six years? I don’t know. Butsend. I also teach my family. I have taught them to wash their hands, whatever I do — doctor or policeman — I know I can only do it if I gotheir faces and their feet. I have taught them about washing their on to the third grade. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 07
  9. 9. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 08
  10. 10. 0600 twice a week the water sellers come with the cart and I buy water for the family. Twenty liters costs 400 Ariary (20¢ US).0545 My mother wakes usup and I go outside to washmy face and clean my teeth Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 09
  11. 11. 0610 We eat sweet potatoes for breakfastManjo: Damy, what are you doing today?Damy: I am going to look after grandmother’s cattle.Manjo: Vaha, what about you?Vaha: I will bring firewood and work in the field.Manjo: Mother, what are you doing today?Mother: Weaving. Are you looking forward to school?Manjo: I am.0620 I walk to school with the children from ourvillage. We carry water and wood for the canteen. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 10
  12. 12. Vaha HetsagnombeeManjo’s motherI am very happy that Manjo is starting back to school today. He is theonly one of my three children that goes to school. Manjo’s father diedwhen Manjo was just two years old. So there is no one else at home.That is why I need my other two children — my son Damy who is 14and my daughter Vaha who is ten — at home to help me. They helpme in the eld and around the house. Even if I didn’t need their help I could not a ord to send all three ofthem to school, so I have chosen to send Manjo. He is dynamic andintelligent. Of my three children he is the best suited for school. I support our family by weaving traditional mats (tsihy) by hand.When I nish one, I sell it and we use the money to buy food. One matcosts 4000 Ariary (US $2). I can usually make and sell two in a month.We also grow manioc, potatoes, beans and maize. If I just work on themats and don’t do agriculture I can produce four mats in a month, butwhen I also work in the elds there is only time to make two. Theproduce from our elds supports us all year round. If the harvest isgood we sell some of it. We do not have any animals — just tenchickens. When Manjo grows up I want him to be a doctor. Doctors earn a lotof money — and with that Manjo can help me in my life. But when Isend him o to school every day that is not what I am thinking. I am Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 11
  13. 13. just thinking I need him to go to school so he can learn something. I The nearest public school is more than 12 kms away. That wouldn’tbelieve that if Manjo learns something he will become a chief one day cost so much, but it is too far away. Manjo is too young to go so far to— an authority of some sort in the region. He has the personality for it. school, and I can’t have him stay there. I need him to come home at The teacher told me that Manjo must go to another school so he the end of the day because he helps me — and I don’t want him to livecan continue his education. I listened to what she said, but then I away from home.dismissed it. The nearest [full cycle primary] school is six kms away. I want Manjo to ‘run after knowledge’. I want him to earn aThat is not too far for Manjo to go, but it is a private school. It would certi cate or a diploma and become a doctor. And I believe he will docost 3000 Ariary (US $1.50) each month to send him. I can’t a ord that. these things one day, even if for now he has to repeat. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 12
  14. 14. Ankilimanintsy II primary school constructed: 2003 dimensions: 4 x 8 meters number of villages served: 4 grades offered: 1 & 2 number of students: 132 number of desks: 17 number of teachers: 1
  15. 15. Mameno RovaTeacher, Ankilimanintsy II primary schoolI have been the teacher here for two years. It is a small classroom and rather than have them keep repeating. Other parents prefer to keepit is very crowded with 132 students inside. The parents in this sending them because they hope that one day grade three will worked together to build this classroom with their own Most of the parents here believe that it is important to send theirmoney and labor. They wanted their children to be able to go to children to school, even if means repeating the same grade. They wantschool, but they didn’t have enough money to build a second to see them going to school. They know it is a bene t.classroom or to make this one bigger. Nor was there money to build a Manjo is a good example. He is an excellent student. By now helatrine. would be in grade ve if he could have continued to progress in his It is really hard to teach so many children. It is especially hard to education. Last year, and the year before that, I told Manjo and hissupervise what they are doing. Every child is di erent and some of mother that they should send him to another school. Manjo said ‘No. Ithem have problems. I need to work with them individually, but I can’t. know that my mother does not have the money to send meThe second graders sit in the desks. Most of the rst graders sit on the to another school. I will stay here until they open grade three.’ oor. There are so many of them that I can’t even get to where they Manjo is the leader of the class. He helps me with the youngerare sitting. I have asked the district education chief to send another children by listening to them read and keeping them in order.teacher to help me, but I am not sure if that will happen or not. When I need someone to help me in any way — for example, to go When the children here nish grade two, if their parents have with the children to do agriculture — Manjo is my assistant.enough money, they can send them to school in Ambovombe I am sad. I worry that soon it will be too late for him to nish his(15 kms away). If their parents don’t have money the children stay education. That’s why I keep telling him to go to school elsewhere. Buthere and repeat grade two with the hope that one day the district he says ‘No, I have to stay.’ I really want to see him get an education. Ieducation o ce will send another teacher. If a new teacher comes we have even thought about paying for this myself, but I don’t have thecan open grade three. money to send him to school elsewhere. That is why I have insisted This year I have ten children repeating the second grade. Some that the district education chief send us another teacher and then weparents take their children out of school and have them help at home open the third grade. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 15
  16. 16. 0650 We clean the classroom,then we line up. We raise theflag and sing the national song. 0705 The teacher takes attendance. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 17
  17. 17. 0830 The teacher asks me to help someof the first-graders with their reading. 0912 The teacher reads to the class. Schools for Madagascar Making the grade 18
  18. 18. UNICEF plans to complete over 1,000 child-friendly schoolsby 2013. These schools will have:- a maximum of 50 children per classroom- library books, classroom kits and teaching materials- one latrine for every 50 girls- one latrine for every 50 boys- sustainable water points