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UNEQUAL
EDUCATION

A new global analysis exposing how education inequality between Africa and Europe has become over three times worse since the Soweto Uprising in 1976, the global injustices behind this rise and actions needed to end it. 

INTRODUCTION

It has been 48 years since the Soweto Uprising began on 16th June 1976, where over 10,000 black school students in South Africa protested against the inequality in the Apartheid education system and the forced use of Afrikaans. Hundreds of students were shot and killed for peacefully demanding their right to education equality and justice.

South Africa remained under the oppressive apartheid regime, which continued the legacy of institutionalised racial discrimination, for a further 14 years, but the protests that day sparked a new wave of organised global action against Apartheid that eventually succeeded.

Every year this anniversary is marked across Africa on what is now the ‘Day of the African Child’,  and this year the focus was education for all children in Africa. Inspired by this, Justice for Africa examined how education inequalities have changed since 1976 and found that education inequality faced by young Africans today is three times worse than it was almost half a century ago.

The colonial era had come to an end just a decade before the Soweto Uprising took place, and there had been no compensation or restitution for the centuries of exploitation, colonialism, and slavery which deeply affected Africa. Education was therefore incredibly unequal in 1976, with colossal education spending inequality between countries in Africa and richer European countries.

The seven countries which had invaded and colonised over 90% of Africa - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom,  - had education budgets that were $3,800 higher per child than the average African country. But far from getting better, in the almost 50 years since the Soweto Uprising, the gap in education budgets between countries in Africa and their former colonisers has more than trebled, even when adjusted for inflation.

How has this global injustice happened? How is education inequality three times worse?

The evidence is presented here so that you can see for yourself.

This report looks at what has happened, why education inequality has increased, the systemic international injustices causing it, and makes the case for how a united global response, inspired by the powerful Anti-Apartheid movement, can create a more equal future where every young person in Africa can finally realise their right to education.

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WHAT HAS HAPPENED? UNEQUAL EDUCATION & BUDGETS

CHAPTER SUMMARY:

This opening chapter presents the stark education inequalities between sub-Saharan Africa and other regions of the world today. It shows how despite falling in all other regions, the number of children out of school in Africa is increasing, and that African children and young people are less likely to finish school or achieve a basic level of literacy than their peers in other continents. To understand this injustice, the chapter explains the vast, and growing, inequality in education budgets and expenditure per child between sub-Saharan Africa, North America, and the European Union since 1976.

KEY FINDINGS:

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  • In sub-Saharan Africa, a girl is only 35% more likely to graduate university than die of maternal related causes. In 20 sub-Saharan African countries, a child has a higher chance of being forced into child labour as they do of completing school. ​​

  • More is spent on eight days of education for a school child in Malta than the entire school life of a child in Malawi.​​​

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WHAT HAS HAPPENED? INEQUALITY OF NATIONS

CHAPTER SUMMARY:

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Apart from a few exceptions, African governments spend a higher percentage of their budget on education than their European and North American counterparts. The main reason why so many children have no school to go to and no teacher to teach them is that the overall government budgets are just too small.

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  • Even if the government of Burundi gave 100% of their annual expenditure to the education ministry alone, their education budget per child would still be more than 200 times smaller than Switzerland’s.​

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  • Since 1976, GDP per capita in the United States has increased on average more every day than sub-Saharan Africa has in an entire year.

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WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED? DISCRIMINATORY GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

COMING SOON!

WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED? BROKEN AID PROMISES & FAKE FUNDING

COMING SOON!

WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED? BROKEN CLIMATE PROMISES & FAKE FUNDING

COMING SOON!

HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED? MISPERCEPTION OF AFRICA

COMING SOON!

HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED? WHO FRAMES HOW AFRICA IS SEEN?

COMING SOON!

CALL TO ACTION: APPEAL FROM THE ALL-AFRICA STUDENTS UNION

COMING SOON!

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