A Model Classroom
At the Maine Normal School, 1917.
These pictures are separated by 100 years, and ocean and an entire continent, and I think the African school kids are still getting the short end of the stick. This first classroom has to hold up to 80 middle school students and there are really no supplies other than these very basic desks which hold two or three or four students. How do you think that works, crowding seventh grade boys together on one shared desk? And don’t forget–only one teacher. Primary school is “free” from the government, but anyone who can sends their kids somewhere they can at least be in a smaller classroom. And even in the free school through 8th grade, parents must pay for paper, pencils, and school uniforms. There is no reliable electricity, and no computers. I think the textbooks must be handed out when needed, because the kids are not carrying around heavy backpacks, and there was no sign of books in any of the classrooms I saw.

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