African press review 16 August 2012
South African headlines are dominated by the need to overhaul the education system; Kenya changes its rules so political parties can earn hefty profits from nomination fees; and Uganda gives the special treatment to its returning Olymipc champion.
The Mail and Guardian leads with the details of The National Development Plan (NDP), the final version which was handed to the president on Wednesday. It calls for significant changes to the basic education system. Among them, making two years of quality preschool enrolment for all five-year-olds compulsory before Grade One, which would take the time SA children spend at school to 14 years!
There is also a passionate plea to improve SA’s education system on the opinion pages of The Star. “SA needs to wake up from the complacency that has allowed us to tolerate a failing education system for more than 18 years", says the paper.
It calls on citizens, parents, the private sector and the government to address the challenge and to lead the education system out of its “dismal state”.
The paper accuses the current education system of actively generating poverty through the massive failures of governance at the provincial and national levels.
It laments the fact that South Africans are being left behind by the world forging ahead in the global knowledge economy.
The paper concludes with a stark warning: either rise to the challenge of the radical change required in our education system, or continue the slide into terminal mediocrity. It gose on to say, “We have demonstrated that we have the capacity to rise to monumental challenges against all odds...we dare not fail to do so one more time”.
It’s Christmas time in Kenya! Or is it…? The Nation leads with a catchy headline: “Parties set to mint millions from elections”. The story explains in detail how the main political parties stand to make huge amounts of money from nomination fees in the next General Election.
You see, in Kenya you have to buy a ticket from a political party to stand for election.
The most expensive party to run with is the ODM (The Orange Democratic Movement). Presidential hopefuls will be required to pay about 20,000 euros; candidates for governor 3,000; for the senate 2,500 euros; parliamentary and women’s representatives 1,000 euros, and county assembly representatives 250 euros. Now there's a cheaper alternative to run for presidency. Those aiming for presidency through the URP (United Republican party) or for the Wiper party will only have to pay 10,000 euros, while those eyeing the running mate post will get away with 5,000 euros.
Now if you are a woman running for Parliament, you’ll be punished twice. “Kenya's new rules will bar women from running to elected office”, says The Star’s in its headline as it reveals additional details of the proposed Draft Elections Regulations for women seeking election to Parliament. If you are a female politician, not only you’ll have to pay a party to run on its ticket, but you’ll also have to fork out a non-refundable nomination fee of 5,000 euros to the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission.
“The constitution created 47 special seats to be vied for by women only as part of an affirmative action plan to promote women's participation in public affairs”, says the paper. “But if this proposal is approved, these seats might turn out to be an exclusive club only for rich women”.
Uganda is basking in Kiprotich’s glory! The Monitor proudly leads with the picture of its Olympic marathon champion waving to the ecstatic crowds from an open limousine outside the airport. “Hundreds receive Kiprotich as Museveni offers 66,000 euros”, says the headline.
But most importantly, notes the paper, “a man who left as a warder in the Uganda Prisons force was now staring approvingly at a promotion to Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP). And a man who left without much in his pockets had arrived to a 66,000 token from President Museveni”.
While Olympic winners get money from the state in certain countries, in Uganda it’s the president himself who slashes his modest salary to offer a token of gratitude to the nation’s best athlete!
And finally, big news on the dance floors of South Africa. The Sowetan’s entertainment pages feature a story on DJ schools exclusively set up for women.
According to the paper, “so overwhelming is the need for a woman in the house that there are women-only institutes, which train them to excel in their craft”.
Here are some names of schools mentioned in the article, just listen to the sound of them: The Firm Understanding of Sound Entertainment, Divas on Decks and the Sound of Sounds Academy.
The lady DJ’s are firmly set on breaking the male dominance on DJ market. And they just may succeed. Listen to this mix from Lady Zinhle called My name is. Enjoy!