Mozambique Strives for Quality Education


The government in Maputo, Mozambique, has promised to enforce bans on cell phones for students in the classroom. Citing distraction and cheating as main reasons, the city of Maputo has promised to enforce these bans, only allowing students to enter classrooms if their phones are turned off and safely stowed away.

Maputo’s commitment to education has been reaffirmed by their promises to address additional problems inside schools as well, including complaints about alcohol use by students and issues of sexual harassment.  Some pupils present at the meeting about these issues suggested that all informal bars or places to obtain alcohol should be moved away from schools, and Maputo’s governor encouraged all those affected by sexual harassment to speak up, lest they should be considered complacent. Officials also urged students to look after their schools, discouraging graffiti or other damage to school facilities, stating that “school is our second home.”


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Library Opening in South Africa


The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has formed a literacy campaign in South Africa that has marked its entrance into corporate social investment.  “Boks for Books” has recently opened a second library, located at Kwamanzini Primary School.  The first one the campaign created had been opened in August, marking the campaign’s quick movement.

SARU’s “Boks for Books” provides disadvantaged schools in South Africa with fully stocked libraries and is teamed with the NGO Blue Groove Africa.  Blue Groove Africa is an organization that not only provides the infrastructure for libraries, but also runs librarian training and forms committees that work towards the success of each library.  Their goal is to provide two hundred new libraries to an audience of 160,000 people in South Africa by the year 2016.

The president of SARU, Oregan Hoskins, hopes that the library will have an impact on the schools and the community, saying “literacy is essential for the acquiring of skills and knowledge, and those who can read are usually in a position to make a very meaningful contribution to the social, welfare, and community affairs of their respective communities.”

SARU plans to create another library for Gauteng, South Africa, in November of this year.  These libraries are of great importance in the country, because they can help spur further education in the communities and schools.  They could possibly help to raise South Africa’s ranking in education in the world, and provide students with necessary skills and guidance to succeed later in life.

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Standard Nigerian Languages to be Implemented in Schools

The Ministry of Education in Nigeria has decided to begin teaching four native languages in an effort to standardize speech throughout the country. They believe that this will help to progress Nigeria’s culture. These four languages are known as Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Ijaw.

The diverse language regions in Nigeria

The decision comes from the belief that promoting a standardized language in a country leads to a more prominent and established culture. Having a standardized language will also result in a more influential and broadened culture throughout Nigeria.

Having four focused languages also adheres to the fact that Nigeria has multiple ethnicities throughout the country. Consequently, Nigeria’s literacy and education models must reflect the nation. The ultimate goal for this change is to promote a long-lasting Nigerian culture.

University of the Western Cape Honors Advocate Bience Gawanas in Cape Town

This past Thursday, Namibian Advocate Bience Gawanas’ academic journey came full circle when she earned a Doctor Legum (honoris causa) from the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town, South Africa). Adv. Bience Gawanas was forced to withdraw from UWC 36 years ago around the same time as the Soweto Uprisings, a peaceful student protest that demanded equal educational opportunities for black South Africans during apartheid. The peaceful protest became tragic when South African police opened fire on the high school students, all of whom were unarmed.

Advocate Bience Gawanas (far left) at the UWC Graduation Last Thursday.

In the decades since, South African apartheid has come to an end and education reform is in full effect. For Adv. Bience Gawanas, her evolution from expelled student to Advocate of the Namibian High Court, and Commissioner to the internationally recognized global movement Every Woman Every Child, is magnified through her recent honor in Cape Town. Her success in the face of adversity will continue to serve as inspiration for children growing up in post-apartheid South Africa, and its neighboring nations. As a Namibian growing up during the apartheid, Adv. Gawanas dared to dream big and pursue a law career at a time when blacks were widely unwelcome in that field. Her determination to fight for equal rights for blacks in Africa’s southern region has been ceaseless, as expressed last Thursday when she said, “I knew that in a white court, black people could never receive justice or fairness and if I were a black lawyer I could ensure that they too deserve respect for their human rights and dignity.”

As Adv. Bience Gawanas’ career in law, global activism, and her recent doctoral honor from the University of the Western Cape indicates, the future is bright for educational opportunities in South Africa.


For more information about Advocate Bience Gawanas, please visit -CAB.

Liberia: President Johnson-Sirleaf Proposes Further Cooperation with the Peace Corps

On August 3rd, 44 new Peace Corps volunteers were sworn into service in Liberia. This was the largest group of volunteers since the beginning of the program in 1962 according to the Peace Corps-Liberia Country Director, Mr. Vincent Groh. President Johnson-Sirleaf was present at the ceremony for these volunteers and thanked them for their commitment to helping Liberia prosper. She also further voiced her hopes to create an initiative that will increase cooperation between the Peace Corps volunteers and recent college graduates in Liberia.

The President ideally would like to create a national service program in Liberia for those who have graduated from university, but remain unemployed. This would allow them to be placed with Peace Corps volunteers in high schools and work together the improve the education system across the country. This concept was initially mentioned by President Johnson-Sirleaf in 2011 at the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. while delivering a lecture there.

The Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Liberia, Michael Arrietti, has welcomed the initiative presented by the President. He hopes to have the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) work closely with both the Peace Corps and the Ministry of Education in Liberia to make her vision a reality. The goal is to have this program begin its implementation by the summer of 2013.

Another goal of the Peace Corps in Liberia to to have reached all 15 counties by the start of the 2013 academic year. Right now there are volunteers serving in 9 out of the 15 counties. They teach English, Math and Science in 39 government run high schools. With an expansion to all 15 counties the Peace Corps will be able to reach all 55 public high schools outside of Montserrado.

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