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4 new african february/march 2022
A proper knockout issue! OK, you have heard this a thousand times but let me add my voice to the chorus. The 100 Most Influential Africans issue (December / January) was again a knockout. Super writing and brilliant photos and design – a real holiday treat for the whole family to gather around and argue for all they are worth about who should be in and who should never have been selected.
For myself, I genuinely believe that all the ‘usual suspects’ – the hotshot heads of institutions and so on – should be barred from any consideration. Most of them are simply doing their day job, part of which is to influence lots of people. I would rather see more of the people who have talent and have made it on their own steam – the artists, writers, singers, outstanding academics, sports people, actors and so on. They reach millions of us and add to our enjoyment of life. Three cheers to them.
Also, lest I forget, hats off to the many individuals who are going out of their way to seek justice for others, or to help the needy or improve the lives of the wretched. These are real heroes – give them more space next time.
Spread the news After reading the Introduction to The 100 Most Influential Africans of 2021, I want to say thank you and applaud you. I think this introduction should be published in all Western societies. Please don’t stop making your African voice heard.
KLAUS WALBROEL, Germany (city not specified) Invest in education to prosper Thank you for the excellent story, titled: Youth to Take Centre-stage at This Year’s WISE Summit in the December / January issue. The article raised a number of very critical issues and I was pleased to read that the conference in Doha, Qatar, was set to explore the extreme challenges facing this sector in offering quality learning to the general student populations.
Education can and should be a flagship project of many nations, especially in Africa, but the critical question when it comes to implementing policies that benefit the citizens, is what proportion of the gross national product is allocated to this sector.
For the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, a major challenge facing this sector is the ineffi ciency of the preparations made to cater for early childhood enrolment. The ineffi ciencies include: overcrowded classrooms, the provision of lowquality teachers and an inadequate supply of learning materials.
Without addressing the urgent needs of the early school-going child, how are children to progress? The ineffi ciencies sap the morale of the students and stop them quenching their thirst for knowledge.
Children have to be valued, and their opinions considered as important during the learning process. They must also be encouraged to share their ideas with fellow students and the teachers. This process of belonging will encourage them and stimulate the learning process, making them feel confident that they belong in the learning environment, with a responsibility to participate further.
Another crucial factor in the provision of education is the availability of libraries. Libraries in any part of the world are the source of information and knowledge. In schools, libraries help children to build a reading culture and improve language proficiency. They help students seek information on various topics. This can lead to academic excellence.
So the key question is: are governments willing to contribute more from their GDP towards the growth of the education sector? It remains to be seen which nations are willing to spend more to obtain quality education for their citizens. Invest in education and you invest in a profitable future for all. Fail to do so and remain in the backwaters.
KOKIL K. SHAH,