An Educational System in Crisis

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“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” NELSON MANDELA (2003)

The World Development Report 2018 (WDR 2018)—LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise—is devoted entirely to education, with many references to the challenges faced by countries in East Africa.

“Schooling is not the same as learning. In Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, when grade 3 students were asked recently to read a sentence such as ‘The name of the dog is Puppy,’ three-quarters did not understand what it said.”

 In East Africa, children are not well-equipped to learn due to illness, malnutrition, and poverty. The quality of teaching is poor, with some teachers not well-educated themselves. Teachers are often absent from school. Their salaries are low, and many take on secondary jobs just to support themselves. Schools are short-staffed, so teachers have the burden of administrative work. Lacking resources and oversight, schools are badly managed, and students do not have environments conducive to learning.

This is where qualified, international volunteers enter the picture.

These volunteers, carefully selected through Change Africa for Good based on their relevant experience and qualifications, can bring a world of change to schools in East Africa.

They can share best practices with teachers about the best ways to help children learn. And they can teach the standard curricula for each country to students directly, as teachers observe their techniques.

Millions Still Suffering

 A recent report by global consultant McKinsey highlights East Africa’s healthcare crisis.

“The health of the vast majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa remains in jeopardy. From 1990 to 2005, life expectancy slid by more than 2 years, to 47.1 years. What’s more, millions of Africans still suffer from diseases that are relatively simple to prevent or treat.”

Uganda’s health care system is ranked in 149th place out of 191 countries in the world by the World Health Organization (WHO). There is roughly one doctor per 1,000 people and its population spends 7.2% of its GDP on keeping healthy.

 Tanzania, one of the poorest countries in the world, has a low standard of health care facilities by global standards. There has been much improvement in recent years but challenges such as under-funding, chronic staff shortages (just one doctor per 30,000 inhabitants), and a lack of medical technology mean that provision is inadequate for both the population and foreign workers alike. Despite this, the health care system sits at 156th place on the WHO league table,

 This is where qualified, international volunteers enter the picture.

 These volunteers, carefully selected through Change Africa for Good, can share their deep knowledge of diseases that afflict Africans and help bring quality medical care to those most in need.