The school principal who spoke to me said that the school has not paid it’s electricity bill for the past several months, and that the electricity provider has threatened to disconnect the power supply. It is now very likely that the children will be forced to stay in the scorching heat without fans, from the beginning of next year.
Not only that!
The school budget sanctioned administrative expenses (idhaaree hingumuge kharadhu) for this year had an amount less than 1,000.00 Rufiyaa for the whole year. The travel expenses allocated was not enough to buy a one way ticket to Male’. And the capital expenditure approvals take months and would be usually sanctioned toward December, which means the items cannot be bought.
Schools have indeed become a burden, just like the teachers. Maldives has become so overwhelmed by the cost of democracy and good governance, that schooling has become unaffordable.
President Waheed is reported to have said on teachers’ day, that he will do everything he can, for teachers. But what can he do? Possibly, nothing!
Presidential hopeful Mohamed Nasheed “Anni” is also reported to have said that he will give a banana and a glass of milk to each school kid every morning. More promises are likely to be made as more join the race and start the campaign tours.
Going by the past 20 years, especially the last seven, it is highly unlikely that schooling will offer the kind of access to quality education that will make future generations productive and competitive citizens capable of a decent life. We will be going back a century in terms of human development. Good education will be out of reach of the ordinary and the average Maldivian. Monarchy will be back – in the guise of democracy!
(to be continued)