In certain parts of the world, formal education is as serious as life and death. Impoverished families in Senegal and other countries in Africa, send their boys to Daaras (very regimented boarding schools). Within these prison like schools, the students are forced to learn. The students are forced to work. Quite often, the students are forced to beg in the streets for money in order to pay their school fees.
Practices within Daaras are controversial, but in communities where education is the only escape from extreme poverty, these prison schools are the only option.
The students within these Daaras often feel trapped. The young boys often feel mentally and emotionally tortured because the boys feel as if learning to read, write and do math bears no relevance in their lives.
Some of the boys escape.
Some of the boys commit suicide.
Some of the boys go to college.
Some of the boys become doctors.
Some of the boys become teachers/wardens within the Daaras in which they were held captive when they were younger.
Is it worth it?
Do these boys stand a better chance within these scholastic cells than the boys who run free within the neighboring ghettos?
Should children be forced to learn?
Maurice Guest Jr., is an education administrator in Little Rock, Arkansas.