Thursday, November 24, 2011

Festival Cow

Excerpt from the book 'The Beautiful Tree' by James Tooley

The government, the principal told me, had said there were no funds to rebuild. Ruefully, he also told me that Nigeria got 18 billion naira (about $140 million) from the World Bank for universal basic education. "Where is the money?" he asked. None of it was apparent in his school. It was all like the parable of the festival cow, he said: The chief wants to celebrate and so gives a cow for the celebrations. The butchers take their cut as it were, so we now have the full cow minus the butchers' cut. Then the cooks take over, and they take their cut too, so we now have the full cow minus the butchers' cut, minus the cooks' cut. The waiters then take their cut, so now we are left with the full cow minus the butchers' cut, the cooks', and the waiters'. "That's like the education budget," he said: "We hear there are funds in the budget, but we don't see it in our community. We don't know where the money goes."


James Tooley's discussion with one of the government school principal in the Lagos State of Nigeria. It explains the problem clearly. And it does not vary too much in India or in any other developing countries I guess. 

Surely a Festival Cow!


1 comment:

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