When Is Education Not Education?
Well, when it’s actually forced agricultural labor for one thing.
Uzbekistan boasts very high primary and secondary school enrollment and claims to have a nearly 100% literacy rate. Appearances may be deceiving:
The basis of Uzbekistan’s economy is cotton which makes up 45% of exports. The cotton bolls start to ripen and are ready to be picked in early September, at about the same time that children return to school. But as soon as the children arrive the schools are emptied of 2.7 million children (2006 figures) who are sent by the government to pick the cotton. Teachers, instead of being instructors, became labor recruiters.
In the spring schools are closed for compulsory hoeing, weeding, and transplanting.
Kind of makes on wonder about that high reported literacy rate, doesn’t it?