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Bowdoin College

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Program Name

Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management


From the introduction These three tangible factors: lack of teachers and classrooms, poverty of Malagasy citizens, and far distances to travel to reach school, all inhibit young Malagasy people from receiving formal education. After having completed research with people living in the isolated commune of Faux Cap, the proviseur (director) of the Lycé Pole in Fort Dauphin, administrators of schools in Tulear, and students in Fianarantsoa, I found that the three tangible factors heeding school attendance are the most important reasons why children say that they cannot go to school, and they most seriously affect rural dwelling people who are on average, poorer and live farther from school than city dwellers (McNeil, 2010). In addition, rural people almost invariably work in the informal sector of the economy, which includes activities which often do not require extensive education (pers. comm., Ravivomanana, 2010). For example, the people living in Faux Cap are almost all farmers who also raise animals, two skills passed down through parents to children by practice, and which do not require knowledge of French grammar or extensive scientific learning, and for most people not even reading or writing. For this reason, the incentive to push past other discouraging factors and continue with school, which will instill knowledge likely not necessary for the average rural citizen’s future success, is very low. However, the EPP classrooms continue to be crowded, and people send requests to the state to build more schools (pers comm, President of the Fokotany Ambory, 2010), which shows that to a certain extent, people must, to some extent, want to attend school. It seems that people must equate more schooling with a better life to warrant surmounting difficulties involved in attending school, but eventually the monetary and geographical barriers create too much stress on the student and or family and children often cannot continue school through lycée.


Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences



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