Education in Africa

Zimbabwe: Too Poor to Take Tests

This article from IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis highlights the ever-increasing cost of education in Zimbabwe. It explains that poor students are unable to pay the fees for end-of-the-year exams, and thus will not obtain a “school-leaving” certificate at the end of 2009. The article attributes the collapse of the education system to hyperinflation, widespread food shortages, cholera outbreaks and an almost year-long strike by teachers in 2008. For a country already plagued with political and economic crises, the collapse deteriorated the standards of education even further. Because public financing has declined over the past decade, there are hardly enough funds for basic teaching materials such as textbooks, pens and paper. It is not uncommon for 10 students to share a textbook. However, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe still hopes to receive some of the $70 million of the new Education Reform Program offered by the Zimbabwean government, UNICEF, and international donors.

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis. “ZIMBABWE: Too poor to take tests.” UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 15 June 2009.

School in a Time of Cholera? Health Risk Threatens to Return to School for Zimbabwe Children

This article discusses the dire situation in Zimbabwe: that of cholera threatening to prevent many children from attending school because of the fear of becoming infected. Numerous teachers have quit their jobs altogether, stating that the inadequate salary of around $2 per month did not cover even their transportation to school. At the time of the article’s publication, close to 3,000 people had died in Zimbabwe’s worst-ever cholera epidemic, with 50,000 infected by the disease. Schools simply do not have the clean water and sanitation necessary to combat the disease. The article points out how terrible it is that children in Zimbabwe are missing the incredible benefits of a good education, such as the hope for a future without poverty. “It is a tragedy that children and their families are facing this impossible choice: risk their lives or compromise their futures. Education is just one of many casualties of the political and humanitarian crisis in the country,” said Peter Mutoredzanwa, Oxfam Country Director in Zimbabwe. This tragedy will affect generations to come as this generation will have to catch up with all of the education that they have missed, if they choose to pursue it at all.

Oxfam International. “School in a Time of Cholera? Health Risk Threatens Return to School for Zimbabwe Children.” Oxfam International. 1 July 2009.

Educación en Africa: La Fuga de Cerebros

En ésta edición de Africa Journal abordaremos el problema de los africanos que estudian fuera de sus lugares de origen y sus razones para no volver a ellos. Comentaremos donde es más frecuente la fuga de cerebros y que están haciendo los países para hacer volver a los africanos a sus países natales. También hablaremos sobre el impacto social y económico de la emigración de africanos hacia otros países.

Emeagwali, Phillip. “Educación en Africa: La Fuga de Cerebros.” Dec 16 2009.

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