What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

To teach of not

So while taking a moment off today I went to the expat hotel and chilled by the pool and chatted it up with some peace corps volunteers. Took it easy, but easy for me still means chatting it up with the locals and asking questions!! So I'm just going to pass this story along.

Mohammed is a poolside bar tender at the Wusum hotel. It is an $87-107 a night hotel in a place where the average wage is about $1.25 per day. He comes at about 3pm and does evenings I guess (i don't stay late). He is trained as a teacher in health education though. He has passed his college course and started working in a local school.

He had to get registered to be officially a teacher, but could teach during that waiting time. Unregistered he makes about $25 per month to teach, not a living wage. Registered he could make $250+ per month. Really good money here. He tried to register, but the process dragged on. According to him it goes to the Ministry of Education and gets lost. It can apparently be "expedited" with the right connections. But can take 2-3 years otherwise. Frustrated with the process and low pay, he left teaching and is now a bartender.

Basically he can make more money as a bartender under the current system. He'd rather be a teacher, but if he can't get a living wage, he has to do what he can. Which is to tend bar...

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