African press review 6 January 2017

In South Africa, it is all about the Matric results – that is, the exam pupils take during the final year of high school and it is the qualification received on graduating from high school, although strictly speaking, it refers to the minimum university entrance requirements.

The Mail & Guardian has a full coverage on this, praising the progress seen in this year’s results. They have an article with 10 things we need to know and what the results mean. For example, the paper reports that the national pass rate for 2016 is 72.5% – an increase on last year’s rate, which was 70.7%.

But on the other hand, The Conversation reports that “Caution Is Called for When Analysing South Africa’s Matric Results”

It explains that the national pass rate also reflects only the learners who sat the exam. It does not take into account the numbers of early school leavers who did not make it to matric.

This year the announcement by Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education, showed over 800 000 candidates registered for the exams.

But only over 700 000 – full time and part time – actually wrote the exams. This means that more than 100 000 learners made it to grade 12, but fell before the final hurdle. And also, not such good news, 18 schools nationwide obtained a 0% pass rate.

The article raises the question as to whether a final set of exams at the end of 12 years of schooling the best way for South Africa to judge pupils’ readiness for entering the world of work or continuing on to further education?” and begs the question “What other options exist?”

Kenya’s Daily Nation headlines “Jubilee senators pass contentious election law.” Opposition Party Cord had warned that it would call mass action if the laws were passed after they claimed they were meant to introduce use of manual backup to rig the next general election.

But the senators celebrated successfully passing the bill, without amendments, paving way for President Uhuru Kenyatta to assent it into law.

The opposition led by minority leader Moses Wetangula had said that the Bill was “unconstitutional” and could “plunge the country into chaos”.

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Mr Wetangula said the process through which the laws were passed was not fair, saying that unauthorised senator had been allowed to vote.

The Opposition wants electronic system used in the next general election whereas Jubilee has maintained that a backup must be used to ensure eligible voters are not denied the chance to vote.

In a related matter The EastAfrican reports that Kenya’s economic growth prospects have been dimmed by uncertainties related to this year’s general election, interest rate controls, shortfalls in revenue collection, and a growing public debt.

Although government data has painted a rosy picture of the economic performance over the nine months to September 2016, the paper says the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are cautious about the country’s growth prospects as banks shun lending to the private sector in a controlled interest rate environment.

According to the World Bank, increased government spending during an election period may crowd out private sector investment and lead to overheating of the economy, resulting in inflation.

Nigeria’s Punch leads with an extortion case. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered millions from the authorities of the Federal University of Agriculture, in Ogun State, and returned the money to 952 students.

The commission acted based on a petition written by the students that money was being extorted from them by the school management.

The anti-graft agency said upon investigation, it was discovered that the students were asked to pay twice for ICT training.

Nigeria’s Vanguard leads today with how Lagos decided to outlaw “indiscriminate waste dumping after the refuse generated across the state during the recent festive period

Lagos State Government, on Thursday started aggressive removal of waste and illegal structures with the warning to sanction any group or person found dumping waste indiscriminately in the state.

Source: rfi afrique