カンボジアで感じた、巨大な闇

吉牟田真之

カンボジアで学校を2校建てた後、talikiに参加。参加する団体全てで猿キャラを欲しいままにしている。talikiではヒゲ枠も掌握するため、あご髭を養生中。

「社会課題を身近に、楽しく、カジュアルに」

talikiの活動を始めた時はこのミッションのことを深く考えたことがありませんでした。でも社会課題について深く考えるにつれ、結局「社会で今何が起こっているか、社会がどう動いているかを知り、どういった社会が自分にとって、みんなにとって良いか考え、行動する」ことが不可欠だと思うに至り、この活動が本当に意義あることだと思えてきたので、その理由をちょっとずつ(三回に分けて)話したいなと思います。

カンボジアで巨大な闇を感じた話

僕はカンボジアに学校を建てた経験があります。

カンボジアの学校建設にて

その活動をしながら、というか始めてからしばらくして「この活動が本質的な問題解決に繋がっているかどうか?」ということを考えるようになりました。

 

僕らが学校を建てたことによって、現地の子供達が喜んでくれたことに関しては自信を持ってやってよかったと言えます。

でも、「学校を建てること」が「カンボジアの子供達の教育機会の不平等」という問題を本質的に解決できているか?そこにはあまり自信を持てません。

 

「カンボジアの農村部には学校が少なく、都心部の子供達と農村部の子供達では教育機会に差がある」これは間違いなく事実ですが、その裏には複雑な構造があります。

 

カンボジアの教育機会の不平等をもたらす原因の一つとして「農村部で働いてくれる先生が少ない」ことがあげられます。

なぜ少ないのかを考えてみると、

カンボジアの教師は月給が安く、多くの教師は副業(塾の先生など)をすることによって生計を立てている。しかし、農村部には都市部に比べ、十分な収入を得られる職業は少なく、農村部で教師として働くことに対し抵抗感のある教師が多い。

という事実(あるカンボジア人に聞いた話です。)や、

農村部に先生を誘致する、または先生が来てくれたら「都会に帰らせない」ために、親たちは先生にお金を渡してお願いする。しかし、農村にすむ多くの家庭もまた、十分に収入を得ることができていないため、先生にお金を払うことができない。

という事実(これもカンボジア人に聞いた話。)が裏にあります。

 

つまり「農村部で働いてくれる先生が少ない」ことは「農村部に現金収入を得る機会が少ない」ことに繋がっていきます。

 

ここで特に「農村部の親たちに現金収入を得る機会が少ない」ということに対して考えを巡らせると、「農村部にすむ大人たちには文字を読める人が少なく、文字の読み書きを必要とされるような職業はそもそも現金収入を得る手段として選ぶことができない」という事実にも繋がって来ます。

文字を読める人が少ないのは何ででしょう?

他にも色々理由はあるでしょうが、教育を受けていないからという理由が真っ当かなと思います。

このようにして考えていくと、多少強引かもしれませんが、カンボジアにおける教育機会の不平等は、カンボジアにおける教育機会の不平等によって解決が困難になっているという構造が見えてきます。

ここでこの問題は農村内では解決できそうにないなと考え、農村外部の力、特に政府による介入、援助が必要不可欠だ、それを行なっていない政府に問題があるのでは?と考えるようになりました。

カンボジア野党の党首や党員が国家反逆罪で逮捕される、暗殺されるといった情報を聞くなどするうちに、カンボジア政府に違和感を感じたのも、そう考えるようになった理由の一つです。

そしてもうちょっと考えを巡らせてみました。政治家が農村部と都市部の教育機会の格差を是正しようとしないのは何でかな?

ここで、カンボジア人から、「農村部に対して公共事業を行ったとしても、それが政治的な評価に繋がりにくい。だからあまり公共事業(学校や医療設備、上下水道の整備など)をしてくれないんだ」といった話を聞きました。

 

政府はカンボジアの経済や世論に影響力の大きい、都市の富裕層、中流階級層にばかり目がいっている可能性があります。

政府が教育インフラの整備、教師の派遣、援助などにお金を使わないのにも理由があるようです。

こういった中で、農村部の人たちが現状に対し問題意識を抱き、声をあげることができないのはなぜだろうと思いました。

 

今声をあげる必要がないのかもしれませんが、実際今日の生活にさえ困っている人たちも大勢いる中で状況が好転しないのはなんでだろうと思いました。

 

もしかしたら、教育を受けずに文字を読めないことで、情報へのアクセスが限定され、生活に問題意識を持っていてもどうしたらいいかわからない、情報を集めることができてないのかもしれないな、、、と感じました。

 

どうしたらいいかわからなくなりました。

 

カンボジアの教育機会の不平等に取り組んだ一人の大学生は、カンボジアに潜む巨大な闇をふわっと感じてしまいました。

(つづく)

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