Schools and Corruption in Africa

We may be concerned about the standard of schools in England, but journalist Sorious Samura showed a much more alarming side to schooling in his extraordinary report on Africa for Channel 4's 'Dispatches'. His report focused on what he believes to be the root cause of Africa's headlong rush to oblivion - not its poverty, its persistent wars or its virulent diseases, but corruption. Corruption strangles any attempt to change and reform Africa; it is persistent and endemic; and it begins with power structures among pupils in schools. The revelation of a pupil who needed to bribe his teachers to be taught, and of bribery and the misuse of power structures as innocent seeming as prefect positions amongst pupils were the start of a downward spiral which leaves millions of Africans in their current dire state.

Samura's report was honest, eye-opening and straightforward, eschewing easy emotionalism or crass finger pointing. There was little comfort for the West either, whose aid programmes do so much to entrench corruption and line the pockets of gangster leaders rather than head to where it should be. It does, of course, also encourage a dependency on aid, rather than being directed towards the development of domestic agriculture, industry and commerce. But then, Africa is a classic case of where western interventionism has aided and abetted the shallow, selfish, fatally corrupt ruling elites, because in the last resort politicians feel happiest and safest dealing with fellow politicians.


David Carnell said…
"bribery and the misuse of power structures as innocent seeming as prefect positions"

My word...bribery and prefects in the same sentence. Are you sure this wasn't a documentary on SGS? How much did Shibli pay you to be head-boy? Has fagging really been stamped out? I think we should be told.

Rather a good documentary, actually.
GM said…
A disgraceful observation Mr. Carnell - I am sure no-one believes that the prefect system here is corrupt!!
future tory PM said…
It was indeed a good documentary but its no real suprise that Africa's schooling system is corrupt. Much like most aspects of Africa, corruption is a huge problem and will continue to keep the majority of Africa down until serious efforts are made to correct it.

P.S. Good to be blogging again. Although I notice that in my absence my name has been stolen but if you look you will realise mine is blue while the other one is black.
jeremy paxman said…
The prefect system at SGS is entirely bias, and pretty much revolves around trying to be a part of everything. Oh, and not to forget brown nosing teachers...(especially GM).

Glad to be back as well. I feel my rare yet intelligent comments are essential in making this blog semi decent.
spin doctor said…
I have to agree with future tory pm in that corruption is the main reason as to why africa still is unable to compete with the rest of the world.
however i feel that that becasue of the current social and political state of most of africa this corruption has become much more emphasied than if the continent were stable.
i believe that this to be the case because in most western countries corruption exists and often supports the leadership, such as the "party donors" or the "cash for peerages" scandal in the UK. And then there is the example of the corruption that exists in the former "communist bloc" mainly involving organised crime and Russia's ability to hold europe to ransom over gas supply, corruption is very much alive in europe but because of stable society it isn't as apparent as it could be.
i feel that whilst it is good to highlight the extent of the corruption in Africa i feel that we should sort out the problems that we have in europe first before we decide to make attempts to change Africa, espically on the monitary front.
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