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2022-06-04 09:51:09

Is it possible to get an education in an African school?

Is it possible to get an education in an African school?

The African region is still inferior to the rest of the world in terms of living standards, medicine, education and other spheres of life. Due to the fact that the countries of Africa are mostly poor (to put it mildly), the locals have to literally fight for their survival, because in many places there is still neither electricity nor water.

Due to the low quality of education, the younger generation of Africans cannot read even in the fourth grade! Lessons are held without light and water, and education is hindered by early pregnancies and rampant racism.

Schools in the Republic of South Africa – the richest country on the continent

South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa where the standard of living is relatively high and the lives of local residents are somewhat similar to ours. To get a primary education, a young African will have to study 7 classes. Primary education here is free and compulsory for all children. In primary school, teachers give wards basic knowledge of basic school subjects, teach etiquette and craft, and talk about religions.

After the primary stage of education, there is a secondary junior school, lasting from grades 8 to 9: in 2 years, students will have to study biology and social sciences. In upper secondary school, which lasts for grade 12, Africans complete their studies and prepare for the profession. However, statistics show that most children do not continue their education in secondary school. Kenya has the highest number of children who have not completed their schooling, with more than 75% undergraduate. This happens not only because children do not want to learn, but also because secondary school in some African countries is paid: the cost of education in a public secondary school located in South Africa is $ 7.5 per month.

Parents of a child can send him to one of the private schools, the number of which reaches approximately 20% of the number of all secondary schools in the Republic of South Africa. Private educational institutions have more comfortable learning conditions, improved technologies and a good level of education. A significant advantage of commercial schools over public schools is the number of children per class. In south african municipal schools, a group can number from 40 to 80 students, while in classes of private schools there are only 20 people.

The cost of education in commercial schools is much higher - the monthly payment for a place in such a place will reach $ 50 per month, and sometimes - as much as 500, if we talk about elite options. The low level of Africans cannot allow them to send their child to a non-state school, so the student most often has to huddle with 79 classmates in the same office.

Due to the fact that 95% of Africans cannot afford to send a child to a private school, social inequality between population groups increases.

How has African children's education evolved in recent decades?

The United Nations has long expressed concern about the situation of African children. In the 90s of the last century, at UN meetings, they repeatedly raised the issue of the prospects for the development of the African region and called for support for undeveloped countries. The main topic of discussion was to raise the level of education in Africa, because this would contribute to the economic growth of the southern countries.

As of 2000, almost 45 per cent of children without even primary schooling were in African countries. In 2009, exactly one third of young Africans did not have access to primary school, less than 30% graduated from 7 classes, only 5% of the population received a diploma of higher education.

Now the situation is undergoing positive changes, but far from the scale predicted by the UN. In 2016, African countries ranked 9 out of 10 in the ranking of countries with the most out-of-school children. About 24% of children of primary school age did not go to school in Angola, the figures in Nigeria reached 27%, and in Senegal and Guinea - 36%.

Between 33 and 51 per cent of children did not attend secondary school (depending on the state), and the situation with high school is even bleaker: 55 per cent of boys and girls did not attend Ethiopian high school, and almost 80 per cent in Tanzania.

In what conditions do children have to learn?

The comfort of education in African schools lags far behind the educational institutions of other countries in many, even basic, indicators. In 2012, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of South Africa provided the UN with frightening statistics on the conditions in which local children have to study. What French or German schoolchildren are accustomed to seeing every day, in schools in Africa simply did not occur:

  • almost 10% of South African schools did not have any water supply, 10.5% had it intermittently;
  • 14% of educational institutions did not have electricity, and 3.2% of schools had it, but with constant interruptions;
  • 11% of schools in South Africa did not have fences;
  • libraries and laboratories were not in 83% of schools, only 5-7% had them;
  • computer classes were absent in almost 80% of schools;
  • often in schools you could meet thieves and robbers, because there were no guards and fences. To protect students, school authorities had to pin lockers, build fences on their own and run barbed wire on them.

The South African government is one of the few on the African continent that invests a lot of money in local education. The average expenditure on primary education in the country is 4-7% of GDP over the past 30 years. In 2014, the country was even in 32nd place in terms of investing in education, ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. With the money received, Africans built houses, educated qualified teachers and bought equipment. But the measures taken are still not enough, and many schools are still built of clay, and there are not enough places at the desk for all children.

Social challenges

In addition to the economic inaccessibility of education, there are other problems in Africa that reduce its level. Religion is still very powerful here, and the daily routine of schoolchildren is built according to strict religious rules.

Racism is a significant problem in South Africa's public schools: if a white child is not lucky enough to get into a classroom where there are more black children, children will bully and bully him.

Statistics for 2019 showed that in one of the schools in South Africa, where 900 children studied, 36 schoolgirls aged 14 to 18 years were pregnant. In the province of South Africa as a whole, about 15% of girls give birth at school age.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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