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is education the quick pill to grow African countries

ive come across a very intresting observation during my time back here in South Africa it seems like tertiary education is easy to get (well for most people)and a large amount of people are flooding into universities yet the unemployment rate is still not decreasing and that raised a light bulb in my mind . I figured that Africa is not really poor because of the "lack of education" but mainly because of the imbalance of people looking for work and companies hiring.So my question is should African countries cut some of the time and money they spend on education and rather spend it on making it easier for entrepreneurs to start and build companies ?

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    Nov 12 2013: Absofnglutetly
  • Nov 24 2013: First of all I don't think there is a quick fix in life unless it is a placebo effect. Africa has never been poor if we are talking about resources, mineral resources, water, land, population, good weather name it and it is in Africa in abundance. Yet it is a continent that has serious problems that are not going to go away easily. Education is very important but takes time and resources. Expanding education has to go hand in hand with creating jobs, industrial development, investment, planning in all aspects of the country. But before everything else African countries have to guarantee peace, rule of law, stability and an acceptable level of citizenship. There is no citizen right in African states, not yet. No African country has those important ingredients for progress including South Africa. Nothing seems to work east to west north to south. Rampant instability, no basic rule of law, corruption, repression , theft at a large by governments, no accountability, no freedom of press , no cross border trade. sham elections, no food security. Africa is in a serious predicament. Yes the Chinese , Indians, the West make high investment returns on unplanned and costly projects that rarely create jobs or indirectly help training skilled labour. The people are just onlookers and not participants. Fast population growth, no job creation at the private or government level, wars, civil disturbance, border conflicts, refugees, corruption, exploitation, environmental degradation, and never ending political instability are the rules of the day. That definitely won't help Africa at all.
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    Nov 16 2013: i think a different kind of Education (as against the one brought to Africa by the colonial Masters) is the quick fix, this type of Education will be knowledge and entrepreneurship combined. That whatever the African child should learn from school or in any form should be applied to solving the daily problems facing the African environment and society at large.Right now, what most African "educated " seems to know best is how to look for a job or to fit in to the already made system put in place by the west...who originally, came to exploit them...that template still remains and should be discarded.
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    Nov 16 2013: There is no quick pill .... Your quickest entrance is through the entrepreneurs avenue. The sad truth is that companies that come into Africa bring their top brass and most management ... local labor is recruited and few advancements are made ... there will be token positions in every company.

    Education is a continuing thing ... Here is my two cents worth. Educate at the technical level a four year degree can follow. Contract out to the foreign companies .... learn from them. Sub contract to the big companies ... use their money to gain experience, positioning, and growth. In time you can become competitive and start "African companies" replacing the foreign companies.

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

  • Nov 13 2013: Does anyone know how "African" the education is in different countries?
    I'm guessing NGO's and aid donors are big drivers in sub-saharan countries, would that be true? If so are they funding relevant, local, initiatives or do they try to transplant the northern systems they grew up with?
    Seems important to me as true education has to be relevant to your culture and built on your history.
  • Nov 13 2013: If such is the situation, then education should include entrepreneurial education. Cutting off education? Are you nuts? Of course, if the system in Africa is too bureaucratic for new enterprises to flourish, then cutting on bureaucracy might also be an answer.
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    Nov 13 2013: No, not the "quick pill", but it is the effective long term strategy to overcoming many of the problems African countries face.
  • Nov 13 2013: I would like to ask you couple of questions :

    What do you mean by being educated ? Who is educated ? What actually education means ?

    The paradox of being educated

    Scenario 1:

    A farmer uses the scare crow in his fields to protect his crops from the birds.

    A students learns in the school about scare crow,then in the examination he comes accross a question "What is scare crow?" the students writes the answer and scores 10 out of 10.

    Who is educated the farmers or the student? The farmer has the practical knowledge of scare
    crow and the student has theoretical knowledge only.

    Scenario 2:

    There are some people who hold degrees in any language and are well versed in the technical aspect of the language,including grammer. But , they can't tell the stories,tales.

    Thee are some people who can tell stories and tales,but they can't write .Many epics and mythologies have been passed down from the anciant people to the modern people verbally.Many philosphies,ideas and widom has been passed down from the ancient people to the modern people verbally and through graphical signs and symbols.

    Why don't we call Socrates as Dr.Socrates Ph.D, Or Jesus as Dr. Jesus Ph.D, or Plato as Dr. Plato Ph.D
  • Nov 13 2013: Let me first clarify what your idea represents the entire African Continent or only the Republic of South Africa. South Africa is doing fine as a developing nation with growing economy and good educational institutions. So there are no problems in South Africa per se.
    But the nations in Africa are completely different to S Africa. Not only that there are so little capital improvement or entrepreneurship. there are usually very poor college education, even secondary education systems in countries like Somalia, the S and N Sudan, etc. Even in the oil rich countries like Nigeria, the oil companies are usually operated by foreign companies. There are also problems in the Muslim countries with Fariah laws that discriminate female students, and also discourages high profit as well. All these "customs" or "laws" simply are not conducive to entrepreneurship at all. As far as I know, many secondary school teaching just spend more time teaching Islam religion then technological or business skills. I don't know about the college education, but in some of the nations mentioned above, I don't quite believe that their students would qualify as being able to operate any reasonable free enterprises with or without government subsidies.
    In summary, the basic circumstance/environment in many African countries, are simply not mature enough to develop such economic infrastructure as you suggested.
  • Nov 12 2013: No. No such thing exists at all. No prosperous nation became one overnight, except on the prostrate bodies of other nations. The USA's world dominance began through the near destruction of all of Europe, for example. As the only remaining industrial power, it was easy for us to expand very quickly. That option isn't available to Africa's countries. They'd have to take out the USA, the Eurozone, Japan, China, Korea, and Russia, all at once--or figure out how to get us to do each other in, then leap in to "help" the survivors.

    As for "lack of education" contributing to Africa's poverty overall. Look at how the education is distributed. What is the emphasis? Is it top-heavy? A country that over-emphasizes university education merely creates a dissatisfied elite that emigrates or participates in coups. If that country does not have a very strong primary education system, the top-level education is wasted. Prosperity does not come from universities. Prosperity comes from industries, and industries want a large workforce with a good basic education, supplemented by a small elite with a good higher education.