Box 14.1Poor Education Delivery: A Threat to Mangroves Mr. Muhsin Mohamed Kuchombeka, the chairman of Nyamisati sub-village, tells the story of years of frustrations from poor education delivery in the Delta:
"For the past 22 years, our primary schools in this side of the District had never sent any of their pupils to secondary schools. Last year (1997), we decided to set up a camp here in Nyamisati to help our children with their education. All parents contributed money, chicken, fish, and everything to our children selected from various schools in the Delta so that they can prepare themselves for the final exams. We also paid for the teachers who came from different schools in the Delta. After intensive training, six pupils were selected to go to secondary schools. We were very happy indeed. We realized it is possible for our children to go to secondary schools. We will do the same thing this year." However, only three of these children were able to go; the other three did not go due to lack of fees. As Kuchombeka points out, this lack of education influences the environment in two possible ways.
“Our children are frustrated, they have resigned and lost interest in schooling because of the dismal performance of our schools in examinations, they have decided instead to cut mangrove poles so as to earn money. The government has decided to abandon us in education; our schools have not enough teachers, not enough materials; we are left like this so that our natural resources can be stolen from us without us questioning.”