The World Bank is to give a paltry $15 million to 'support' education in Chad. Amongst other things, the money is to be used to 'to improve data collection and decision-making in the country’s education sector.' The ostensible purpose of the so-called 'education reform project' is to 'improve teaching and learning in primary and upper secondary schools.'

The obvious way to improve teaching and learning in Chad would be to pay teachers properly, to train thousands more teachers so that class sizes can be reasonable and to provide a decent school infrastructure. Although part of the money will be used to build classrooms and train teachers, the emphasis on data collection does not bode well even for this. And the amount of money being provided is a drop in the ocean in comparison to the size of the problem in the country where only a third of children complete primary school.

Interestingly the World Bank country director is quoted as saying how important it is for children to be educated in this 'resource rich country.'  It is hard to understand why it is more important for children to be taught in a country with rich resources. However it is clear that the country is of great interest to mining coroprations like Signet, a European company which owns 100% of Chad Mining Services. Presumably these corporations require a minimally educated work force to help them extract the riches from under their own soil. Chad has oil as well as gold and uranium, yet 80% of its population live below the poverty line and life expectancy is 47.

The World Bank, along with its brother organisation the International Monetary Fund, creates the conditions which make it possible for corporations to exploit the natural resources of countries like Chad. This paltry amount of money, which moreover is tied to the usual data collection 'reform' agenda, is simply an insult to the country's children and teachers who are struggling to live on salaries which are not even enough to feed their families.