Wednesday, April 16, 2008

An interesting discussion

Peace Corps language teachers

One of the language teachers here was telling me about his education and the state of higher ed in Niger. He said that because of IMF/World Bank requirements, Niger is trying to discourage people from pursuing education past grade 6, and rather wants them to enter the workforce early. As a result, people with higher education are having a harder time finding appropriate work. There just isn't a lot of energy put into developing the kinds of jobs for the educated work force. I don't understand the nuts and bolts of this, nor do I understand the IMF/World Bank perspective, but I definitely understand my friend's concern. He has a master's degree in geophysics from a college in the Ivory Coast, and he wants to work in eastern Niger doing petroleum surveying/extraction. You can imagine, we had a lot if interesting conversations/views to share about petroleum-related topics and enviromental rights (ala Ecuador). Anyway he is an outstanding teacher, fluent in at least four languages, and he's going to apply for a Fulbright to study in the US. and get a PhD in geophysics.

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