Makoko is a shantytown on the edge of Lagos, the largest city in West Africa. Space is precious, so Makoko stretches out into the lagoon, where many of the houses are built on stilts. Average income in Makoko is about fifty dollars a month. In Nigeria ninety per cent of people live on less than two dollars a day. According to UNICEF, less than half the children of primary school age get an education, with school fees as high as ten dollars. However, new research reveals that parents here are prepared to pay to get their children educated.
The people of Makoko appear to have a choice: Children can go to the free state school, or they can pay at one of a growing number of small, private schools that have opened there. Research into how and why these private schools have emerged in such unlikely circumstances has been organized by a team from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Their research reveals that in communities like Makoko, parents are voting with their feet. They think the state system has failed, and a new and interesting grass roots movement in education seems to be the result.
The other titles in the series are:
1. Roma Rights - Breaking the cycle of Roma poverty and persecution.
3. Srebrenica - Looking For Justice - Examines the massacre at Srebrenica on its 10th anniversary.
4. Killing Poverty - Has the corruption in Kenya lessened under its new president?
5. The Great Health Service Swindle - Reversing the brain drain in doctors and nurses from developing countries.
6. The Donor Circus - Zambia tries to change the conditions for international aid.
7. For Richer, For Poorer - In Brazil the gulf between the rich and the poor is one of the biggest in the world.
8. Kill Or Cure? - India's $4.5 billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that serves the world's poor is at a crossroads.
9. The Silent Crisis - The Central African Republic struggles to avoid economic and social chaos.
10. Cash Flow Fever - One in ten people on the planet either send or receive money from abroad.
11. Back In Business? - After 11 years of civil war, can Sierra Leone expect tourism to improve the economy?.
12. Kosovo - A House Still Divided? - Resentment and property ownership issues remain as the UN Housing Property Directorate Mission ends.
13. Trouble In Paradise - Local inhabitants of the Maldives wait for promised tsunami aid.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2005
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-579-2
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-578-4
"The visual impact of the gripping documentaries in the Life 5 series make them extremely powerful teaching tools for university, and indeed, other classrooms. In succinct episodes they raise and contextualise some of the most critical issues in the world today. These episodes are produced in an extremely objective manner and allow an audience easily to come to grips with an array of complex problems. They ought to be an indispensable part of the teaching curriculum."
Dr. Jeremy Sarkin, Visiting Professor of International Human Rights, Tufts University
"School's Out! takes a controversial look at the 'grassroots' educational system of West Africa's largest city, Makoko, a shanty town on the lagoon of Lagos. Parents in these poor communities make many sacrifices in order to pay for their children's education and enrollment into unregulated private schools versus the free state schools...Do these private institutions do a better job of preparing young students for a brighter future or do they merely represent local convenience and a false sense of status?...Recommended for higher level research projects and as a great resource for public and academic libraries."
Deidra N. Herring, The Ohio State University, Educational Media Reviews Online