I was just talking to my friend who recently came to America from Kenya. We were of course discussing the many disparities in the educational, political, and financial systems. Today, my friend brought something new to my attention. I knew that there was a form of free education in South Africa, but I never really understood it. He explained that if you receive a grade of C or better on the South African equivalent of the SAT, then you are referred to continue your education. However, if you do not meet that requirement you not only cannot continue your education but you also can be rejected for certain types of employment.
So what happens to D students? Well apparently they get D-jobs, marry in their D-class, buy a D-home, and live a D-live. Then they transfer that same life to their children. Sound familiar?
America may not have a D-system, but the funding of education seems to lead to similar situations. President Kgalema Motlanthe said this:
“Positive examination results are a barometer not only of the learners’ achievement but also of what the efficiency of our education system is. In a country such as ours beset by accumulated disabilities that limit people’s ability to enjoy the fruits of freedom, education is a single critical equaliser. In other words, for a nation like ours to defeat social ills such as poverty and inequality, we need a strong education system that empowers ordinary South Africans to respond with confidence to the imperatives of modern society. As proven elsewhere in the world, education plays a pivotal in the economic growth and development of a country. To this end, tireless efforts revolving around skills development, research and innovation programmes often help countries to modernise and grow their economies. Flowing from this consideration, government has consciously elevated education as one of our five priorities, the others being health, creation of jobs, rural development and fighting corruption.”
Hopefully South Africa is taking the steps to prevent the D-Life cycle. in the same way, the United States can begin to set standards to create equity in the American education system.
Mr. Monopoly. A man who almost every person in the United States has seen. Many of us have played this game in many forms. Stripping your friends or family of their wealth and making them mortgage their property was fun right? Little did we know, at 8 & 9 years of age this game has deceived us to believe that stepping on the toes of others isn’t so bad. Well maybe in a game it is not atrocious, but when you translate those actions to reality then we have a serious quandary.
In America, we have recently been able to see the effects of capitalism and greed. We have seen how our economic system’s public and private companies and their interests strip Americans from their homes, their jobs, and–for some– their life savings. While unfamiliar for many Americans, the effects of capitalism are not so anomalous for people in underdeveloped countries.
Keeping It Simple‘s post named Capital, Communism and Africa says simply, “that the effects of global capitalism have been negative on the African continent. Global capitalism has been bad for most of the world. Only small groups of people have benefited from it, at the expense of the masses.” This has proved true. In this current recession how many millions of people were effected by a couple thousand bad decision makers on Wall Street.
Because of Africa’s prolonged stagnation and that they are virtually blockaded from entering the world market, they are being taken for a ride on this global capital movement which is seemingly heading towards a treacherous end. So I ask again. Who said that capitalism is great? We may have evolves slightly from the days of Rockerfeller, Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan. However, we still have a long ways to go.
12 October 2011 in Sallum, Egypt.
“Let me stress one key message: Africa’s people need neither pity nor charity,” Ms. Migiro concluded. “Respect, international solidarity and a level playing field will go a long way toward bringing a new dawn to the continent.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Tiffany Eyes Further Diamond Mine Funding is an article written by Barney Jopson, William MacNamara, and Katrina Manson of The Financial Times on September 23, 2011.
Forgive me for the citation, but according to Wikipedia, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend is a song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949).” The conceptual problems in that idea is something to be tacked by another blog. But I digress to the original topic. It is now 2011 and the old adage of diamonds being of utmost importance. The sad part is diamonds have been the worst enemies of many in other countries.
As the broadway play was going on in the United states in 1949, the Geneva Conventions outlawed the recruitment and use of children under 15 years of age in hostilities. There were many war crimes that were a result of greed and intolerance in general. In Unicef‘s Truth and Reconciliation report for the children of Sierra Leone it stated that ” The Sierra Leone diamond mines where well-known because the so-called ‘blood diamonds’ helped pay for the machinery of the war. It is another symptom of the insanity of war that we children of Sierra Leone were forced to labour in the diamond mines and retrieve these terrible gems that would become the source of our suffering”. I think Ola Olsson author of “Diamonds Are a Rebel’s Best Friend” said it best:
Although policy-makers in developed countries have become increasingly aware of the problem, the potentially destabilizing effects of highly valuable minerals in some of the world’s poorest countries have so far not received the attention that they deserve
This is why a transaction like one of the most popular diamond company investing more money in a country who has had trouble with corrupt government officials and company CEOs should be taken very seriously. This transaction must be scrutinized and the funds watched very carefully. People need to be held accountable for their actions especially when they are connected to such atrocities like child labor and missing limbs all in the name of capital and greed.
I found this small post very intriguing. It is from a tumblr blog named africanprodigy. Her blog “Tears of an Immigrant” briefly describesa picture taken at a funeral at Analoga, in the Volta Region of Ghana. Kudos to the young photographer who was able to capture such a profound picture. For me, I see the grief in this woman’s expression. But I also see contemplation. Not in the sense of thinking or rationalization but the process of theosis and reverence. I have experienced death in the past month and I know death brings one to a place of humbleness and an overall appreciation of live. Although you are sometimes filled with sorrow, you also sometime find yourself in a contemplative state where you find harmony with your mind and your heart in a way where you find peace–even if for a moment. One last thing I see in this photo is longevity. I pray that in my life I see old age, but also that I have the wisdom and strength with it. For myself, I understand the idea of “Tears of an Immigrant”, but I would like to change tears of sorrow into tears of joy.
This video is by Juka who is a model and actress who is trying to become a celebrity chef. I thought the recipe looked good. Not sure if it is the same ingredients my mother uses, but it still seemed delicious. Food is one major way that people are able to keep their culture alive. There are some things like the language, traditions, and especially recipes that makes one have pride for their culture. Every culture no matter where or what they do is rich in history and it is important to make sure that culture lasts and is never forgotten.
When we think of a days work, many of us imagine sitting at a desk in nine to five job or possibly working part-time at a less than comfortable wage. But how many of us think of waking up at 3am or 4am to do a days worth of physical work. Labor… something that actually took physical strength and skill. I don’t know about you, but I know that I haven’t seen the inside of a gym in over a year. As I educate myself on worldwide cultures, I have gained a greater respect for the way of life that I have. Some of the boys in the picture do not look a day over twelves years old. Think back on the things you did at twelve. Myself…I did not even have to consider working to provide for my family.
These were our beginnings. Don’t sit there and think that we have evolved. Instead think about what we have forgotten. Think about our surplus. Despite this financial crisis think about how much we actually have. The luxury of not having to labor. The conveniences that are available to us. The beauty in simplicity. These things we no longer appreciate. I think of the feeling of accomplishment that these young men must feel after a big catch and I wonder how many times in my life will I be able to have that same feeling.