Threadbare Kids Drop Out of School

When the new academic year begins in September, parents too poor to buy school uniforms will keep their children out of education, leaving many illiterate by the time they should be looking for jobs.

Threadbare Kids Drop Out of School

When the new academic year begins in September, parents too poor to buy school uniforms will keep their children out of education, leaving many illiterate by the time they should be looking for jobs.

Friday, 31 July, 2009
In the Rudaki district south and west of Dushanbe, teenagers like Madina say their family cannot afford to let her attend school.



“If I went to school now, I’d be entering the sixth grade now,” says Madina. “But I’ve never been, from the very beginning. Now I’m thinking I should go and study but I can’t. There’s no possibility of it.”



Safina Shakirova says she regrets keeping her son out of school when he should have been getting an education.



“I couldn’t send my child to school because I didn’t have the resources. You need a school uniform to go to school, but I earn barely enough to keep us fed. My son left school after second grade, and now he should be going into the ninth [penultimate] year . He’s a boy as well[ie. a breadwinner], and now I don’t know what he will do with his life.”



Feruza Abdulloeva, the deputy head of education in Rudaki district, admits the existence of drop-outs but says most are children in outlying areas or whose families are only temporary residents. She insists there is not a single case where poverty is the root cause.



Tajik education minister Abdujabbor Rahmonov says there are about 20 children missing school in every town and probably more in the countryside.

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