Education can provide a way out of poverty for communities and individuals. In rural Madagascar state education is very poor. Most children, if they go to school at all, leave school at the age of twelve barely able to read or write.
The private church schools in the Vohipeno region where TASC Madagascar works have a much better record but have to pay higher wages to attract and retain good teachers. Teachers’ salaries are about £400 per annum, paid from the school fees, but the fee income of these non-government schools will cover about half the outgoings of the school.
In 2006 Father Emeric (see Tanjomoha web page) built schools in two villages occupied by outcast tribes. These villages were chosen to aid the social integration of the outcasts as the schools are open to and attended by children from all the surrounding villages.
What is TASC Madagascar doing?
Since 2008 TASC Madagascar has been providing £1800 per annum to bolster the salaries of teachers & classroom assistants in both church & state schools. In the first year we helped 3 teachers & 4 classroom assistants. One of them, Madame Florentine, lives in Vohipeno and works at the state school in Soanjohary, 18 miles away. She has to walk to and from school leaving home at 5am.TASC gave her £200 for the year 2008/9, nearly doubling her income. This money enabled her to give up her evening work as a hat maker, a job she formerly needed to make ends meet. At school she works with 2 classes at a time, 36 first year & 42 second year pupils.
All the schools we know are desperately short of money, understaffed and underequipped. A little financial help can bring big improvements in the children’s education, their lives and the future prosperity of their villages. We want to increase the amount of money we can give to support education which is one of the fundamentals for a more prosperous life in Madagascar.
In 2012 we started to support a High School for those leaving Tanjomoha, and for good students from local schools. This High School will prepare pupils for further education and possibly university, with a view to allowing them to contribute to their society in the future.