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News about our programmes 30, Sept. 2014

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Pambazuka News Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

Latest titles from Pambazuka Press

African Sexualities

Earth Grab A Reader
Sylvia Tamale
A groundbreaking book, accessible but scholarly, by African activists. It uses research, life stories and artistic expression to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities
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Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

From Citizen to Refugee Horace Campbell
In this elegantly written and incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO's intervention in Libya.
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Queer African Reader

Demystifying Aid Edited by Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas
A diverse collection of writing from across the continent exploring African LGBTI liberation: identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, religion and culture, and intersections with social justice movements. A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorising ourselves, making our ...more
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China and Angola

African Awakening A Marriage of Convenience?
Edited by Marcus Power, Ana Alves
This book focuses on the increased co-operation between Angola and China and shows that although relations with China might have bolstered regime stability and boosted the international standing of the Angolan government, China is not regarded as a long term strategic partner.
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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

To Cook a ContinentWalter Rodney
Rodney shows how the imperial countries of Europe, and subsequently the US, bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. They have been joined in this exploitation by agents or unwitting accomplices both in the North and in Africa.
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Emerging Powers Digest: 14th Edition, 5 December 2014

In today’s newsletter the Emerging Powers project announces a call for grant applications; gives a summary of Zuma's travels to China and the signing of the 5-10 Year Framework on Cooperation between the two countries; highlights Ethiopia's budding textile industry and relations with China; India's growing investment presence in Africa; militarization of the continent by the emerging actors. The news digest also provides analyses and news reports on China's evolving foreign policy and diplomatic relations. Read these and other news items in this week's edition of the Emerging Powers in Africa news digest.

Call for Grant Proposals

The Emerging Powers in Africa Project is issuing a call for grant proposals. The grants are aimed at examining the political, economic, social and cultural impact of the emerging powers footprint in Africa. The grant is specifically related to empowering civil society actors in gaining the appropriate knowledge and developing the necessary tools to articulate an informed perspective on the emerging powers in Africa and the corresponding impact.

Read more...

+ Read the Emerging Powers Digest

+ The Emerging Powers Project Homepage

Pambazuka News Broadcasts

Pambazuka broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.

See the list of episodes.

AU MONITOR

This site has been established by Fahamu to provide regular feedback to African civil society organisations on what is happening with the African Union.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Education

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Liberia: Breaking rocks to pay her school fees

2012-11-12, Issue 605

Mercy Womeh attends the J Chauncey Goodridge school in Monrovia, Liberia's capital. She pays her school fees by crushing rocks, earning 35 Liberian dollars ($0.47) for each bucket. Three years ago, her family moved from the countryside to the Monrovia suburb of Gbawe Town to find work. But in a country with 85% unemployment, crushing rocks was the only option.

South Africa: Last in maths education, says survey survey

2012-11-01, Issue 604

The quality of South Africa's maths and science education has been ranked last in a survey of 62 countries by the World Economic Forum. The report ranked South Africa 54th when it came to gross tertiary enrolment - behind India, but ahead of Morocco, Ghana, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya, and Tanzania. The country placed 28th overall, and was the top-ranked sub-Saharan African country.

Uganda: 6,500 vacancies for science teachers remain unfilled

2012-10-25, Issue 603

Despite a government policy that made science subjects compulsory for all secondary school students, there is a reported shortage of 6,500 teachers to teach the subjects. According to the Ministry of Education, even the available 6,500 science teachers, a good number of them were ill-trained and cannot adequately pass on the skills to the learners.

DRC: Students torn between school and work

2012-10-30, Issue 603

Hanging from the door of a mini-bus taxi as it jerks and jinks through traffic, 16-year-old Gires Manoka calls out the van’s destination to potential passengers as it crosses Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. One pedestrian asks the fresh-faced teen if he shouldn’t be in school instead of working. 'I was in grade seven last year,' Manoka replies, 'but I had no one to pay my school fees. I got no choice but to hustle; this work keeps my family alive.'

Africa: Growth sparks controversial rise of private secondary schools

2012-10-30, Issue 603

According to an education for all global monitoring report published by Unesco in October, 71 million adolescents of lower secondary school age were out of school in 2010, with three out of four living in south and west Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The last of these regions has doubled the number of students enrolling over the period, yet has the world's lowest total secondary enrolment, at 40 per cent in 2010. Private schools have stepped in to plug the gap.

South Africa: Sadtu demands action on Limpopo textbooks report

2012-10-11, Issue 601

The South African Democratic Teachers Union has given Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga seven days to act on the Limpopo textbooks report. The union said a thorough investigation was necessary into those named in the presidential task team report on the Limpopo textbook crisis. 'Sadtu calls for the investigation to take place as a matter of urgency and no stone to be left unturned because we don't want to see a repeat of [the] Limpopo saga in 2013,' said general secretary Mugwena Maluleke.

Cameroon: Visually impaired girls in struggle to afford education

2012-10-15, Issue 601

There are as many as 100,000 visually impaired people in Cameroon, but just one government school for the visually impaired. Most blind students struggle to afford their education. And girls with visual disabilities face special challenges around education and sexual health, Global Press Institute reports.

Burundi: The successes and challenges of free education

2012-10-15, Issue 601

Offering free education, making it compulsory and supporting it politically has been the winning strategy behind Burundi's successful bid to ensure that virtually all children get a primary school education. In this interview from the Africa Report website, UNICEF's representative in Burundi, Johannes Wedenig, expatiates on government's positive role in this development. There have been some major drawbacks to such an avalanche of new students, Wedenig admits. Not enough of qualified teachers, classrooms, desks and books has created real bottlenecks. So one of the 'side effects' to the surge in school attendance, notes Wedenig, has been overcrowding and an increase in the pupil-to-teacher ratio.

Africa: 56 million youths without primary education in sub-Saharan Africa

2012-10-16, Issue 601

Over 56 million young people in sub-Saharan Africa have not completed primary school and lack basic skills for employment, according to a report. These young people are aged between 15 and 24. The African leg of the UN Global Monitoring Report on Education was released by the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in Soweto.

Tunisia: Leftist-Islamist struggle fuels Tunisian University violence

2012-10-08, Issue 600

The faculty of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Tunis closed on Thursday last week and suspended classes for three days after violent confrontations broke out between Islamist and leftist students, causing considerable damage to classrooms and facilities – and promising a difficult academic year to come. The incident at the institution’s oldest faculty revived memories of a long history of clashes at the University of Tunis between leftists and Islamists.

Mali: Northerners fight to learn

2012-10-08, Issue 600

Teachers, the Ministry of Education and aid agencies are scrambling to provide catch-up classes to thousands of displaced children who fled northern Mali for southern towns to help them graduate this year, while those teachers and families who stayed in the north are doing the same - determined to keep their children learning despite the closure of dozens of public schools and severe changes to the curricula.

Global: Leaders demand immediate attention to children’s education in crisis zones

2012-09-25, Issue 598

Global leaders from governments, international organizations and civil society have endorsed an urgent Call to Action to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children and youth receive a good quality education by protecting schools from attacks, significantly increasing humanitarian aid for education and planning and budgeting for emergencies before they occur. The leaders urged immediate action for the 28 million children – nearly half of all children not in primary school – who live in countries scarred by war and conflict, as well as millions more struck by humanitarian emergencies such as flooding, food shortages, earthquakes and other disasters.

Malawi: Teachers get pay hike

2012-09-13, Issue 597

The University Council that oversees the affairs of public universities in Malawi has announced a 25 per cent increase in salaries of university teachers. But the Polytechnic, the constituent college of the University of Malawi in Blantyre, which is already on a month-long industrial strike, refused to immediately accept the offer, while Chancellor College in the eastern city of Zomba said the offer was a fair deal. Both constituent colleges were demanding a 113 per cent salary hike, citing the recent 49 per cent devaluation of the Malawi currency, the kwacha.

South Africa: Still no textbooks

2012-09-11, Issue 597

Section 27 has filed papers at the North Gauteng High Court after it emerged that hundreds of Limpopo pupils are still without textbooks. Rights organisation Section 27 filed papers at the North Gauteng High Court on Monday after it emerged that hundreds of Limpopo pupils are still without textbooks and are facing an inadequate departmental catch-up plan.

Egypt: University staff fired for participating in peaceful demonstration

2012-07-25, Issue 595

The Arabic Network on Human Rights Information has denounced the continued presence of former members of Mubarak's regime in positions of power, such as universities. Ahmed Zaki Badr, former minister of education and now the president of Akhbar El-Youm Academy, arbitrarily fired six employees due to their participation in a demonstration calling for his dismissal. Mohamed Atwa, Nagla Ismail, Hossam Hosni, Yahia Zakaria and Mohamed Abdulaziz, were among those dismissed.

Zimbabwe: Virtual lectures to help cope with brain drain

2012-07-25, Issue 595

A virtual lecture hall, enabling lectures to be streamed to university campuses from around the world, aims to plug the gap in scientific teaching staff at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), which has suffered years of brain drain. The Virtual Lecture Hall (VLH) was launched last month (29 June) at UZ’s College of Health Sciences (UZ-CHS) and Faculties of Science and Veterinary Science, by the UK-based Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and Econet Wireless, the mobile communications company funding the project.

Kenya: Education minister unveils 'ideal skirt'

2012-07-30, Issue 595

Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has introduced his model skirt that is just two inches below the knee in a bid to quell the storm over the miniskirt row. Mutula’s new move unveils a skirt length which appears long enough to sooth the anger of clerics and conservatives, and short enough to appease the teenagers. He chose Rwathia Girls Seconday School to unveil the official skirt length recommended by his ministry. Mutula said that the Rwathia administration erred in imposing changes without consulting students, and that is why he supported the students. The Rwathia students who went on strike three weeks ago had complained that their new purple skirts were too long, ugly and not meant for their age.

South Africa: Damning report on school textbooks

2012-07-17, Issue 594

The verification report into Limpopo’s textbook debacle, compiled by professor Mary Metcalfe and her team, has unearthed even more rot in the education department. The report estimates that 280 schools in the province are still without the required textbooks. The verification team sampled 411 schools – 10 per cent of the total number of schools in the province. They could only get proof of delivery receipts from 93 per cent of the schools sampled.

South Africa: Education system out of control

2012-07-10, Issue 593

South Africa's education system is spiralling out of control and failing millions of pupils. From failure to deliver textbooks to unpaid bills and corrupt education officials, not much has been achieved since 1994. Former health minister Barbara Hogan has added her voice to the growing list of critics lambasting the failures of the country's education system. Speaking at non-governmental organisation Equal Education's national conference, Hogan urged young people to mobilise and 'start holding government accountable', adding the 1976 Soweto uprising showed pupils' strength.

Tanzania: Three experiments to improve learning

2012-07-04, Issue 592

Twaweza has developed a draft note, 'Three Experiments to Improve Learning Outcomes: Delivering capitation grants better and testing local cash on delivery,' on incentivizing learning in schools. The basic idea involves paying a set amount for every child that achieves proficiency in early grade literacy and numeracy, and to contrast it with an input based incentive such as the capitation grant. A set of randomized control trials (RCTs) will be used to rigorously measure impact. The idea has been developed in consultation with the Center for Global Development, the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) at MIT, the Tanzania government, local Members of Parliament and the teachers’ trade union.

South Africa: Textbook crisis statement welcomed

2012-07-04, Issue 592

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) has welcomed the news that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) will work closely with Section27 to resolve the text book crisis in Limpopo and that they have indicated that they intend meeting with civil society. This was revealed in a joint statement by Section27 and the DBE on Thursday 28 June 2012. Sarah Sephton, the LRC’s director in Grahamstown said the LRC has not had any response from the Minister of Basic Education’s office on the non-delivery of workbooks in the Eastern Cape and urged the Minister to adopt a similar approach to this issue as she has taken to the text books.

South Africa: Dysfunctional education system keeps apartheid alive, says Vavi

2012-07-09, Issue 592

Apartheid will not end and black people will not have real freedom until free and high quality education becomes a reality, says Zwelinzima Vavi. 'Education is certainly not free and equal for all, we have huge inequalities in our education provision,' Cosatu's general secretary said on Sunday. Vavi was speaking at the opening of the Equal Education national summit.

Liberia: No policy for pregnant school girls

2012-07-08, Issue 592

Liberian education law is silent on what should happen to girls who get pregnant while enrolled. Pregnancy and subsequently dropping out of school is just one of many problems limiting access to education for girls in Liberia. Girls in the rural areas have even more obstacles in their paths. Traditional practices along with a lack of schools and financial support are some of the challenges they must overcome.

Niger: Food crisis empties schools

2012-06-21, Issue 590

Since December 2011, the food crisis in Niger has displaced large numbers of people from areas of scarcity to parts of the country that enjoyed better harvests. The social impacts for these internal migrants are serious, not least in terms of disruption of education. According to estimates from the Ministry of Education, around 45,000 children have left school this year for reasons linked to the food crisis.

Global: UN: 'List of Shame' cites school attacks

2012-06-13, Issue 589

Armed forces and armed groups that attack schools and teachers should face consequences from the United Nations Security Council, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said. The UN Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict, released on June 11, 2012, highlights grave violations against children in 22 countries. Armed forces and groups in four countries were added for the first time to the UN 'list of shame' for attacking schools and hospitals.

Swaziland: Mass caning violates human rights

2012-06-06, Issue 588

Save the Children Swaziland condemned teachers for beating all the children at a school after one pupil made a noise in assembly. It said the school violated their human rights. The mass caning happened at Lusoti Primary School. Parents have now asked the Ministry of Education and Training to investigate.

Swaziland: Teachers vote for strike

2012-06-11, Issue 588

Teachers in Swaziland have voted to strike indefinitely, almost certainly closing down schools in the kingdom. A total of 98.7 per cent of Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) members who took part in a vote opted for a strike. The strike for a pay increase of 4.5 per cent is due to start on 13 June.

Kenya: Talking box writes what's wrong

2012-05-30, Issue 587

Some schoolgirls in Kibera, Kenya's largest slum, are writing down their problems and submitting them to a message box. Schools are using the information to alleviate everything from molestation to family financial pressures. Concerns range from their families' inability to pay school fees to revelations of abuse and neglect. The Talking Box is a program started by Polycomdev, a local community-based organization in Kibera.

South Africa: Victory for student hunger strike against staff sackings

2012-06-03, Issue 587

In this Ceasefire Magazine article, Micah Roshan Reddy reports from Wits University, South Africa, about a hunger strike by students against a proposed abusive sacking of 17 catering staff that became an international campaign and secured a remarkable victory.

South Sudan: Confusion as private universities shut

2012-06-03, Issue 587

South Sudan has shut down more than 20 private universities, placing the future of higher education on the spot in a country where public universities are partially operational. The move that has left thousands of students confused is part of streamlining the higher education system. Country's minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Peter Adwok Nyaba, said the institutions have been operating on letters of no objection that were only meant to enable them to acquire and develop land.

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