If you are feeling smug and happy on the eve of the upcoming weekend, wondering where to go to have dinner, which movie to watch or which show to see, if you really want an adrenalin rush then take a read of this review of the latest UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report 2017/8. I promise you, it will send a chill through your spine.
The UNESCO Global Education Report for 2017/8 is a horrific, nauseating and utterly disgusting read, a shameful comment on Humankind today, which spends trillions of dollars on weapons to murder people but yet which generates hundreds of millions of invisible children, some undocumented, some totally uneducated and at the mercy of those who will exploit them.
For a start, the report states that not only are there 264 million children not going to school but also raises the issue of accountability. From this we may infer that in drawing up statistics, we are only counting those within the system, whose births have been registered and which the authorities know about. Some state that there may be 350 million undocumented children, but if they are undocumented and invisible we will never know the true figure. How can you quantify what does not exist?
And these undocumented children not only slip through the net as regards education - they will not be able to read or write, they will not be computer literate, so therefore they will not be minimally prepared for the work market; also, they will be easy targets for traffickers, perverts, pedophiles, exploiters, will fall into slavery, will be easy prey for predators who wish to sell them to use as pickpockets, as murderers, as sexual objects, for easy casting in snuff movies or torture videos on the dark web.
Don't know what these are? OK pull up and chair and I will tell you. Invisible people can easily be snatched without anyone knowing. If they target a child from an established school, with an established family, there is a paper trail and the system is going to be alerted very quickly. If the child is invisible, then he or she is probably one semi-present parent away from a nightmare and if this parent does not know or care where the child is, assuming it is on the street somewhere, then it will disappear in the blink of an eye.
What happens next is as sinister as the worst horror movies. The child will be sold into prostitution to be abused time and time again by adults, probably men who will pay to serve their perverted sexual tendencies. Worse, or is it?, the child can be sold to an underground film studio where he or she will be tied to a chair or a bed and filmed while being raped, or tortured or mutilated to death. Screaming in terror, utterly defenseless, helpless, powerless, gasping its last breaths to try to stay alive when its peers are playing in playgrounds or on computer consoles, just because they were born on the other side of a "frontier".
If we are not even capable of registering and counting our children, wait for it and see what we do with those that we do. For a start, over sixty per cent of Trade Unions connected to education in over 50 countries were never or rarely consulted on education reform. As a result of this shambles, the rest is predictable.
One country, Nigeria, had 8,000 allegations of ghost teachers, or teachers which did not exist but which received a salary. Only one in six countries produces a regular education monitoring report to the UNO; tuition fees have increased and higher education has increasingly become the feud of the private sector; a study in 30 countries showed a 33% truancy rate; in Albania, Georgia and Lebanon, just to quote three more surprising examples (imagine the rest) less than half the students met the minimum reading requirements in lower secondary school; out-of-school rates have stagnated, meaning they are not improving; fewer than 20 per cent of countries worldwide provide a full 12 years of schooling; in many countries the poorest members of society have zero opportunities in higher education.
In short, it is a top-down, elitist system which is a study in incompetence, ineptitude and inefficiency. If this is how we have organized things for the next generations - our future - then it speaks volumes about Humankind, which has managed to produced weapons systems to murder people, has managed to destroy the planet beyond repair in many cases, has managed to drive thousands of species into extinction, has managed to create festivals where dogs are boiled or grilled alive and then eaten, where dolphins are hacked to death, where seal pups are slaughtered...
Let this document be another telling epitaph for Humankind 2017.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
The Russian forces destroyed a column of NATO armoured vehicles that had been delivered to the Ukrainian army.