The Nigerian press is gloomy about the devastating effects of falling oil prices; Zimbabwe opens up a dialogue to tackle problems of bogus teachers and tycoons feeding fat on schools; and a Ugandan man seeks reparations for car damage by President Museveni’s escort convoy.
Vanguard, among others, warns that the 2015 budget and fiscal plan introduced by Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari administration may be heading for trouble, as oil prices crashed even lower at the weekend.
The international price of crude hit a six-year low below 40 dollars (35 euros) per barrel with West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures as low as 39.89, while Brent crude similar to Nigeria’s sweet crude declined further to 45.10 dollars per barrel from the previous week’s level of 48.87 per barrel.
Several papers say they expect prices to crash even further once Iran begins to enjoy its international pardon by pumping more oil into the already saturated market. The editorialists believe low oil prices will increase the cash crunch and affect liquidity flow in Nigeria, which is producing less than its projected 2 million barrels daily, further complicating the situation of many states still unable to pay salaries.
Vanguard’s coverage is spiced with a cartoon of the common man with guns pointed to his head by Boko Haram, armed robbers, fluke price hikes, the high cost of living and political brutality.
In South Africa, Mail and Guardian highlights a new report by the country’s Human Rights Commission asserting that an estimated half a million children with disabilities have been shut out of the education system. According to the publication, the report released on 18 August found that South Africa has failed to guarantee the right to education for many of the country’s children and young adults owing to widespread discrimination.
The study carried out in South Africa’s five provinces with the support of Human Rights shows that children with disabilities face physical and attitudinal barriers, often beginning early in children’s lives when government officials classify them according to their disabilities.
Mail and Guardian spoke to children’s rights researcher Elin Martínez, who authored the report she says the South African government needs to admit that it is not providing quality education to all of its children – in fact, offering no schooling at all to many who have disabilities.
In Zimbabwe The Herald harps about the perennial problem of unqualified teachers who are flooding the country’s schools and compromising standards. According to the newspaper, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora offered to create a board to monitor the education sector after being heckled about the problem by delegates attending the annual general conference of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association in Harare on Sunday.
A case which was raised at the ZIMTA conference is that of an archaeologist who is teaching in early child development. The Herald reports that the union’s president, Richard Gundane, blamed the trend on tycoons who have invaded the education sector just to make money.
And in Uganda, Daily Monitor takes up seeking compensation for damage of his vehicle after it was involved in an accident with vehicles clearing the way for President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy.
Thomas Byamugisha, a resident of Ntungamo District, claims his vehicle was pushed off the road by the advance vehicles of President Museveni’s convoy on 6 June as the head of state was heading to Rukoni sub-county. The Monitor says the accident also resulted in the death of a child and left two people injured. Police are quoted to have told the Byamugisha that they cannot reach President Museveni or anyone capable of responding to his claim for reparations.