General News Tue, 6 Jun 2017

Don’t rely on World Bank education reforms – Akufo-Addo

Read Article

Comment: The elephant in the room

2017-06-07 00:07:06
Comment to:
Don’t rely on World Bank education reforms – A

"Africans are tired, we're tired of being the subject of everybody's charity and care. We are grateful, but we know that we can take charge of our own destinies if we have the will to reform. And what is happening in many African countries now is a realization that no one can do it but us. We have to do it. We can invite partners who can support us, but we have to start. We have to reform our economies, change our leadership, become more democratic, be more open to change and to information." - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in her TED talk: "Want to help Africa? Do business here".

Challenges and prospects of higher education in Africa - they are well-known and have been adequately documented. The continent has relied on funding from the World Bank, driven by need to press ahead with the demands and requirements of the elephant in the room. The elephant has software, including a proprietary operating system that thrives on treating users as dumb ones, at best used as guinea pigs to uncover security bugs. Initially it projected free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) as "a cancer", discouraging any foray into FLOSS on the part of academics, programmers, and policymakers.

Funding from the elephant is channelled into World Bank projects and other initiatives tactfully promoting use of the elephant's proprietory software.

Higher education was neglected, and at primary and secondary levels, students were spoon-fed to become reliant on proprietary software which served to get them -students- dependent on such software throughout their lifetime.

What happened to innovation, employability and entrepreneurship? A select few companies were provided with the elephant's API (Applications Programming Interface), enabling programmers (developers) to write code that seamlessly interacted with the proprietary software behemoth's programs, providing an unearned advantage and punishing innovation. aka open source software.

The result of the above is what we have today. University graduates, especially IT specialists, with no knowledge of the very operating system that runs the greater chunk of entreprprise IT systems, lacking in the minimum skills needed to survive in today's most in-demand jobs, flood the market. Certificates not worth the paper they are printed on are dished out to young men and women who are less than half-baked professionals.

This article is closed for comments.