Education and corruption...

Mackie Academy
Mackie Academy

S3 pupils at Mackie Academy have been studying poverty in Africa and tasked to write a news article which would interest local readers.

The Modern Studies class at the Stonehaven school has been learning about current issues in that continent but also touching on broader ones such as education, health and human rights.

Over the past few weeks we’ve brought you some of the best articles written by the S3 pupils, with these two the final ones in the current series.

Nathan Falconer wrote the following:

Malawian civil servants have been siphoning money from the government’s funds and have been doing this via a loophole in the system which manages the money of the country.

A few days before this, a civil servant was found with over £300,000 in the boot of his car, more money has been found the boots of other cars.

The IMF had been withholding roughly £20 million from the country but has decided to give it to them after this scandal. So far roughly 70 people have been arrested in connection with siphoning off cash.

This is one of the biggest scandals in Malawi’s history with roughly 70 people under the accusation of the court. President Banda thinks that the looting of money has been going on for about four years.

The implications of this could be severe as the country will need to deal with those who stole the money, but the problem is that these people were working for the government, so the roles they played in the country’s running will need to be re-filled.

A secondary problem is that donors would be less trusting of the country and its leaders.

Malawi’s president was first hailed as “very good” by Andrew Mitchell, this was because she sold the presidential jet and cut her salary, but now that some suspect that the funds are being taken for an upcoming campaign for her to stay in power.

This will affect Britain as we are one of the countries funding Malawi and so this will cause people to give less towards charities that support Malawi.

People willstop having their taxes go towards a country that is just using it up for those in power to get even more, meanwhile the people who are really suffering will continue to stay in the same situation for generations to come.

Right now Britain is withholding their donations while the investigation continues. When the funding resumes the general populace will be less happy but we will have to trust that the people responsible will be dealt with.

The DFID will be trying to tackle corruption in Malawi through a variaty of ways, some of these are helping with budgeting and money management so that they can’t be tricked by corrupt officials, checking in with the local government officials to make sure that they will try to strengthen the national financial management so that trusted people will have power and be able to monitor the money.

Calum Pethickt wrote:

Schools in Africa (especially Sub-Saharan Africa) have over sized classes, affecting the quality of learning.

This is due to a lack of schools caused by a poor economy. Meaning, the Millennium Development Goals set by the UN, to achieve universal primary education by 2015, are unlikely to be fulfilled.

At the start of the millennium in 2000 the United Nations made eight development goals to be achieved, one of which was to have universal primary education. Unlike Scotland the majority of Africa does not have a free education system in place. In Africa if you want to go to school you have to pay admission fees, as well as for your own textbooks and exercise books etc.

This makes school too expensive for most families who already struggle to get by, with most using their children as extra workers.

One of the key issues why children in Africa are not getting an education is the lack of schools. Meaning, schools are getting over subscribed, making class sizes up to 130 pupils.

There are several reasons why more schools are not being built. Firstly, there are 160 million more teachers needed. Secondly, there is not enough money going into education in the majority of these countries. Finally, in some of the countries it is too dangerous to build a school, due to local tribe wars.

Ten in one children can’t read a sentence; horrific to think that that is possible when compared to Scottish figures.

Unesco, a scientific and cultural organisation, say that the United Nations goals will not be fulfilled. For the goals to be reached in the next year 16billion pounds on top of everything so far must be spent.

The UN is now thinking of making goals for post 2015, with the education goal being the same and having another goal for improving the quality of teaching.

The quality of teaching in schools in Africa is terrible, the teachers are underpaid; have little training, are teaching too big a class and most have temporary contracts.

For universal primary education, 1.6 million teachers are needed in Africa. That is a big number, being over three times what the teaching number was in England (438,000 teachers).

To complete the Millennium Development Goals Africa needs more schools. There are major issues stopping this goal from happening, the main reason is lack of funding.

If the UN really wants to tackle this problem, and make Africa like Western Europe, it has to be confident to fund the countries that have poor economy and a corrupted government.

Hopefully, the post 2015 goals will be completed and by 2030 universal primary education will be achieved.