The knowledge gap: A violation of basic human rights

By 2012, the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should have been fully implemented worldwide, all children should have basic birthrights such as an education, such as school accommodation which delivers this and human resources to implement it. As we spend billions on weapons systems to kill each other, the knowledge gap grows...

I shall quote Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights* in its entirety:

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

UNESCO has issued a report which points towards the opposite in Sub-Saharan Africa, where school accommodation is inadequate and teaching resources insufficient to meet the requirements of providing a basic education for all children.

A survey was undertaken by UNESCO's Institute for Statistics on schooling and education facilities. The results for Sub-Saharan Africa are shocking: "a child in Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to study in an overcrowded classroom that can number as many as 67 pupils in Chad, for example, compared to fewer than 30 in OECD countries. Moreover, many classes in the region are multi-grade, grouping children of different levels of education. In most cases, classes group two grades, but in Cape Verde, Chad, Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali and Niger classes are reported to cover three or more grades".

Given that the first years of basic education are the most important, these conditions mean that education is not being uniformly delivered worldwide as it is supposed to - and what a telling comment on the gross mismanagement of our planet and its human resources by those responsible. There is money for weapons systems which have the capacity to destroy people and cities and cultures and heritage; where is the money to provide for a quality basic universal education?

And who was the man responsible in Africa for tele-medicine and e-learning programmes implemented across the Continent? Muammar al-Gaddafi and look what they did to him.

So for those who spent billions in removing him and his programmes from Africa, some questions:

What do you have to say in reply to the fact that in Chad, first year classes have an average number of 85 students? How are they supposed to learn? And if they don't learn, how are they supposed to integrate into society and why have they been deprived of this basic human right? Every bullet fired, every bomb dropped and every missile released in Libya buried the African dreams of development nurtured by Muammar al-Gaddafi.

What is your response to the fact that there are around half the number of teaching staff needed, there are inadequate sanitary conditions and there is a lack of school materials? While the FUKUS Axis was busy strafing the Libyan water supply, the electricity grid and bombing schools for the mentally handicapped, it was underlying what is wrong with today's world.

Instead of helping sub-Saharan Africa to develop - countries which Imperialism and Colonialism destroyed before these peoples were freed by the Soviet Union - what did they do? Try to remove the one man in Africa who was doing something about it.

This, I can assure you, you will never read in a mainstream media outlet. Not because it is not true, rather because it is inconvenient.


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov