Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  23 minutes
Date:  2006
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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School's Out!

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The private school option in a Lagos shantytown.

Life 5 - School's Out!

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 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

'The importance of these films is that they are intended to raise awareness about global issues in young people, and can be used by anyone for this purpose. The quality of the films is excellent. They are documentaries about the U.N. Millennium Development Goals and include brief interviews with people who are actually involved in MDG programs, from various institutions and from the grassroots to executive level...The objective evidence about the current global crisis of insecurity, poverty, gender inequalities, environmental degradation, and lack of international cooperation is presented in a way that is both realistic and non-inflammatory.

Children are the future. Educational materials such as the Bullfrog Films are very important for the future of both humanity and the human habitat...The Bullfrog Films certainly can and should be shown to children, especially to high school students. But these films are most appropriate for those who prepare the children for responsible citizenship, including global citizenship. They are certainly appropriate for parents who want their children to know about the need for human solidarity and environmental sustainability. And, they are most appropriate for training teachers to plant the seed of global concerns in their students' minds and hearts.' Luis Gutierrez, Editor, Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence Research Newsletter

Citation

Main credits

Bower, Dick (film director)
Bower, Dick (film producer)
Langford, Jan (editor of moving image work)
Kelly, Brenda (film producer)
Briers, Lucy (narrator)

Other credits

Editor, Jan Langford; executive producer, Brenda Kelly.


Distributor credits

Television Trust for the Environment

Dick Bower

Television Trust for the Environment
Dick Bower
Executive Producer: Brenda Kelly
Series Producer: Dick Bower
Series Consultant: Jenny Richards

Docuseek2 subjects

Nigeria
Sociology
Cultural Anthropology
Community
Education
Development
Youth Issues
Citizenship, Social Movements and Activism
Urban Studies

Distributor subjects

African Studies
Anthropology
Community
Developing World
Education
Geography
Globalization
Humanities
Millennium Development Goals
Nigeria
Sociology
United Nations
Urban Studies

Keywords

private school option, school choice, Makoko, shantytown, Lagos, West Africa, Nigeria, UNICEF, education, average income, primary school, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; "School's Out!"; Bullfrog Films

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