DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti, President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh has yielded to public pressure to lower the price of uniforms for students at basic education level, which critics say its a move to divert attention from major issues afflicting the impoverished East African country.
“The announcement of the reduction of uniform prices is all a smokescreen, coming in the criticism of the government’s extravagance in the face of mounting social challenges,” said political analyst Beran Omar.
The Minister of Education, Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud, who announced parents will pay 2 000 Djibouti Franc (DJF) down from the initial 3 500 FDJ retaliates that the administration is thoughtful of the challenges by the populace and the President reduced the prices after he had the parents grievances.
However, Analysts believe the announcement is only a ploy by government to deflect scrutiny from inherent failure to make available schools for the youth population as well as rampant drought, inadequate sanitation and food insecurity, all which have prevailed despite massive financial loans running into government coffers.
Critics lay the aforementioned problems on the lavishness of Gueleh, in power since 1999 at the death of his uncle Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who had been in power since independence from France in 1977.
According to latest World Bank figures, Djibouti‘s net student enrollment at the primary level is around 60 % representing children of official school going age, with higher drop out rates for girls, especially those living in rural areas, and extreme poverty stricken areas.
“Djibouti is not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals and is at risk of remaining in a low-level equilibrium in terms of both access and quality (education) for years to come,” World Bank stated.
Source: KMA Updates