A classroom in Togo
In an effort to meet the UN Millenium Development Goals, the government has cancelled school fees - however it has failed to provide cash to make up the shortfall
Teachers and schools in Togo were already struggling before the government introduced the new rule. Many teachers are 'voluntary' and are only paid for through parental contributions. Those who are paid by the government receive $120 per month. The school fees waiver means there has also been a huge increase in the number of children enrolling for school leaving a massive shortfall in teachers, building and equipment. One head said he had spent his own money buying chalk, crayons, notebooks and nails to mend the furniture.
Despite being the world's fourth largest producer of phosphates and the export of coffee and cocoa, Togo is one of the world's poorest countries It has been encouraged by the IMF to increase private sector involvement in its economy and is one of the world's Heavily Indebted Poor Nations. The global economic crisis is now adding to the poverty in Togo. Meanwhile schools and teachers are struggling to cope with virtually no resources and no teachers' training college.