WENR, March 2018: Africa
Nigeria: Post-UTME University Entrance Examinations Ruled Illegal
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled that it is illegal for tertiary education institutions to screen university applicants beyond the national Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Following recent reforms, university admission in Nigeria is supposed to be based solely on the UTME administered by the country’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). However, in an overcrowded higher education system in which the number of applicants far outstrips the number of available university seats, many universities continued to require applicants to sit for further post-UTME examinations. The court ruling declares this practice unlawful and affirms that admissions decisions are to be made within the centralized admissions system under the auspices of JAMB.
March 2, 2018
Kenya: University Lecturers Resume Strike
Kenya’s public university lecturers have resumed a nation-wide strike after the last such strike ended just late last year. The move, which comes after a breakdown in collective bargaining negotiations, is bound to paralyze public university education. The lecturers demand better pay and higher quality health insurance, as well as benefits granted to other public employees, such as car loan and mortgage assistance.
March 1, 2018
Kenya: Reforms in Elementary Teacher Training
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has proposed that aspiring elementary school teachers in Kenya complete one additional year of study. The reform seeks to improve elementary teacher training to support the change of the country’s education system from a 8+4+4 to a 2+6+6+3 structure. Education programs for elementary school teachers are currently two years in length, but are now slated to last three years in order to increase the practice teaching component.
February 28, 2018
Mozambique: Government Threatens More than half of the Country’s HEIs with Closure
The rapid increase in the number of HEIs in Mozambique in recent years has raised concerns about the quality of education provided by many of these institutions. There are currently 52 HEIs in the country, most of them privately owned. After initiating an audit of HEIs in 2015, the government is now threatening 28 of these institutions with closure. According to Mozambique’s Minister of Education, the institutions in question are presently not allowed to enroll new students and will be closed unless they improve quality standards. The main complaint against the institutions is that they don’t have adequate teaching staff to provide quality education.
February 6, 2018
Nigeria: New Study Finds Major Corruption at Federal Universities
Based on a survey of 900 students, 300 teachers and 300 non-teaching staff, a research report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, published in February 2018, has found major corruption problems at two federal universities, the University of Lagos, Lagos, and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Most respondents stated that corruption in higher education is widespread and that authorities are not doing enough to curb the problem. Among the corrupt practices reported by respondents are: “bribery to get a position;… facilitating fake transcripts; short-circuiting employment procedures; auctioning university assets without authorisation; politicised disciplinary action; inflated contracts, admission irregularities and racketeering, result falsification; nepotism; sexual harassment; examination question leakages, abetting examination malpractices; and deliberate poor invigilation of examinations”.
February 9, 2018.