Did you know that there are over 30,000,000 children of primary school age that do not attend school in Sub-Saharan Africa? Add that to the over 90,000,000 from ages12-18 and you see the scale of the problem. That is more than the combined population of Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cape Verde. Three fourths of those who do go to school are being taught by unqualified teachers. AU Watch’s own figures reveal that 93 percent of the schools in West Africa are poorly equipped with sub-standard buildings or outright dangerous buildings and 98 percent have little or no recreational facilities for children. As if matters could not get any worse, AU Watch research shows that in many schools in West Africa, it is not uncommon for children to be taught under the shade of a mango or baobab tree.
Please do not confuse this humiliating experience with some exotic natural learning experience. There are simply no buildings; and when it rains everyone goes home. In those schools, children bring their own desks and tables to schools. Is it any surprise to learn that figures released by UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Education for All Global Education Monitoring Report (EFA GMR), show that globally Sub-Sahara Africa account for more than half of the out-of-school children, with adolescents (12-15 years) twice as likely to be out of school, but then only receive a third of the education grant. Do we really have to look for conspiracy theories of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism to understand why we are lagging so far behind other regions? For good measure add state kleptocracy, mismanagement and other forms of corruption and picture of hopelessness becomes a bit clearer.
What about getting involved in an exciting project under the ‘Generation 2063 Schools and Education Programs.’ Have your say in “Project No Child Left Behind.” In collaboration with the various ministries of education across the region and some CSOs, AU watch is designing and develop Primary, Secondary and Tertiary AU Curriculums and teaching materials for schools. We are looking for volunteers and experts who can design and develop curricula and teaching materials on the AU for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, military and police academies and technical and vocational schools.
Working with the AU and member states, the project campaigns for free universal education for every child in Africa within the next 20 years and for legal sanctions and rewards to be attached to such free universal education.