Archive | July 2015

Gates and World Bank Peddling Private, For-Profit Schools in Africa, Disguised As Aid*

Gates and World Bank Peddling Private, For-Profit Schools in Africa, Disguised As Aid*

By Billy Briggs

Young students in a Bridge International Academy school in Nairobi, in September. (Frederic Courbet/NPR)

Private, for-profit schools in Africa funded by the World Bank and U.S. venture capitalists have been criticized by more than 100 organizations who’ve signed a petition opposing the controversial educational venture.

A May statement addressed to Jim Kim, president of the World Bank, expressed deep concern over the global financial institution’s investment in a chain of private primary schools targeting poor families in Kenya and Uganda and called on the institution to support free universal education instead.

The schools project is called Bridge International Academies and 100,000 pupils have enrolled in 412 schools across the two nations. BIA is supported by the World Bank, which has given $10 million to the project, and a number of donors, including U.S. venture capitalists NEA and Learn Capital. Other notable investors include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Pierre Omidyar and Pearson, a multinational publishing company.

In a speech delivered in April, Kim praised BIA as a means to alleviate poverty in Kenya and Uganda. Critics responded that many Kenyans and Ugandans cannot afford private education, further arguing that this type of investment merely supports Western businesses at the expense of local public services.

A section of the letter addressed to Kim asserts:

“We, civil society organisations and citizens of Kenya and Uganda, are appalled that an organisation whose mandate is supposed to be to lift people out of poverty shows such a profound misunderstanding and disconnect from the lives and rights of poor people in Kenya and Uganda. If the World Bank is serious about improving education in Kenya and Uganda, it should support our governments to expand and improve our public education systems, provide quality education to all children free of charge, and address other financial barriers to access.”

Opposition to educational Neo-colonialism

The statement reflects a growing global movement questioning Western policies pushing private education in developing countries. It was written and signed by 30 organizations in Uganda and Kenya and supported by 116 organizations around the world, including Global Justice Now and ActionAid. They claim BIA uses highly standardized teaching methods, untrained low-paid teachers, and aggressive marketing strategies targeted at poor households.

In his speech supporting BIA, Kim said that “average scores for reading and math have risen high above their public school peers.” Opponents questioned these figures, noting that they appear to have been taken directly from a study conducted by BIA itself.

Global Justice Now added that the World Bank president’s assertion that the “the cost per student at Bridge Academies is just $6 dollars a month” was misleading.

“This suggestion that $6 is an acceptable amount of money for poor households to pay reveals a profound lack of understanding of the reality of the lives of the poorest,” Global Justice Now, a London-based organization promoting social justice, wrote on its website in May.

A spokesperson added that Kenyan and Ugandan organizations calculated that for half their populations, the $6 per month per child it would cost to send three primary school age children to a Bridge Academy, is equal to at least a quarter of their monthly income. Many families are already struggling to provide three meals a day to their children.

Moreover, Global Justice Now claimed that the real total cost of sending one child to a Bridge school is between $9 and $13 a month, and up to $20 when including school meals. “Based on these figures, sending three children to BIA would represent 68% (in Kenya) to 75% (in Uganda) of the monthly income of half the population in these countries,” the organization stated.

Another signatory to the letter was Salima Namusobya, director of the Initiative for Socio-Economic Rights in Uganda, who said:

“If the World Bank is genuine about fulfilling its mission to provide every child with the chance to have a high-quality primary education regardless of their family’s income, they should be campaigning for a no-fee system in particular contexts like that of Uganda.”

However, the World Bank insists that it remains a strong supporter of free public education and that the vast majority of its funding was directed to support this sector.

“We at the World Bank Group believe that no child should be out of school because of an inability to pay fees and that all children have a right not just to be in school but also to be learning basic skills for life while they are there,” a spokesperson for the World Bank told MintPress News in an email.

“While our investment in Bridge Academies is US$10 million, our current education portfolio exceeds US$14 billion, of which 95% is support for public education. Of our relatively small support for private education, the majority is for higher levels of education.”

Pointing out that the World Bank is working closely with the governments of Kenya and Uganda to help strengthen their respective public education systems, the spokesperson added that BIA were “complementary” to ensure that parents who invest in private schooling were getting the best possible education for their children.

“Surveys show that in these countries—as in many developing countries—the average quality of education is low across both public and private schools, making it an urgent priority to gather evidence on what works and ensure that all children are not only in school but also actually learning,” the World Bank spokesperson said.

Moving forward, more evidence is required to determine which programs work best and the World Bank is to embark on a rigorous evaluation of the BIA program in Kenya, the first large-scale trial of fee-paying schools in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Bank, measuring effectiveness of these schools will help governments, policymakers and parents determine how to ensure that all children can access a good education.

Concern over upsurge of private education in developing nations

The speech from Kim, president of the World Bank, came shortly after representatives of civil society from several countries, including Uganda, met with education officials of the World Bank to discuss its support for BIA and fee-charging primary schools. The subsequent statement of opposition from NGOs follows an upsurge in the financing of private education across the world, especially in Africa, often with the support of foreign investors.

These investments have attracted growing condemnation, including criticism from Kishore Singh, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to education, who argues that private schools must be resisted because they aggravate inequality.

Writing for The Guardian on April 23, Singh cited a study on private education by the U.K.’s Department for International Development that said a large number of low-fee private schools targeting poorer families in developing countries were unregistered.

“These schools save costs by hiring ill-trained teachers and running large classes in substandard school buildings,” Singh wrote, adding:

Such ‘edu-businesses’, as they have come to be known, are an unsatisfactory replacement for the good public education governments should be providing.”

Despite these findings, DFiD has also invested in BIA, prompting criticism from Global Justice Now. A spokesperson for the social justice organization told MintPress News:

“British taxpayers are forcing private education systems on countries like Uganda and Kenya through schemes like this backed by DfID and the World Bank.”

Aid is being used as a tool, Global Justice Now added, to compel the majority of the world to undertake policies which help Western business while undermining public services in emerging nations.

The spokesperson added:

“The introduction of universal education, the increasing length of compulsory education, the creation of comprehensive schools — these are some of the greatest social achievements we have ever made in the U.K., and we remain rightly proud of them. The U.K. aid budget and World Bank development policies could and should be used to help others to achieve these vital components of a decent society.”

MintPress contacted DFiD for comment but no response had been received at time of writing.

However, BIA did respond to the offer of right to reply and said the above statement released by the NGOs included numerous “inaccurate” and “misleading” statements. The BIA spokesperson told MintPress:

“Bridge International Academies exists for one purpose: to ensure that every child, regardless of the location of her birth or income of her parents, receives an education that engages her mind and heart, and enables her to succeed academically, socially, and professionally in her country.”

Earlier this month, United Nations Human Rights Council urged states in a resolution to regulate and monitor private education providers for the first time. The resolution demands that states implement regulatory framework that establishes minimum norms and standards for private education providers, as well as “monitor private education providers.”

The HRC resolution also calls on states to ensure that “education is consistent with human rights standards and principles.”

Following the announcement of the resolution, Katie Malouf Bous, of Oxfam International, is quoted by Action Aid as saying:

“Too many governments have neglected their duty to adequately finance education, leading to weakened public schools and increased privatization as the inevitable result. Serious and substantial investments to provide good quality public education must be the antidote to privatization.”

Source*

Related Topics:

UN Urges States to Monitor and Regulate Private Education Providers*

Globalized Education and One World Government

Election Leaflet Illustrates the State of British Education*

 

Americans Scored near the Bottom of 24 Nations in Skills Assessment*

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Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy with Unlimited Political Bribery”*

Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy with Unlimited Political Bribery”*

Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally-syndicated radio show The Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”

Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United.

Transcript:

HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said, “unlimited money in politics.” It seems like a violation of principles of democracy … your thoughts on that?

CARTER: It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favours for themselves after the election’s over … The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody’s who’s just a challenger.

Source*

Related Topics:

Top Sheriff says America is Now Ruled by the ‘Oligarchy’*

New Federal Bill Lowers Standards on Poor Standards for Experimental Vaccine Licensing*

Rich Corporate Elites are Trying to Crush Marriage Advocates*

Government Sells Native Sacred Land to Mining Company*

George Clooney Paid to Oppose War Profiteering by Africans Disloyal to the U.S. Agenda*

Puerto Rico the U.S. Colony Driven into Bankruptcy*

US Firms Claim Compensation for Nationalized Property in Cuba from Colonization*

Battle On To Keep Ambiguous Language about Family Out of Major UN Agreement*

Battle On To Keep Ambiguous Language about Family Out of Major UN Agreement*

As countries negotiate the overhaul of the UN development system, they are also re-negotiating the place of family in UN policy.

NWO FamilyOver 70 organizations from around the world petitioned the UN to keep the long revered language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights about the family as the “natural and fundamental group unit of society” in an influential new UN agreement.

Leftist governments, including the United States, are trying to convince the General Assembly to discard family language from the Universal Declaration and instead use phrases that critics consider to be ideologically freighted, specifically “all families” and “various forms of the family.” These types of phrases have been rejected in recent years but the Obama administration has made it a priority to have them used in this important development document.

“70 years after the founding of the United Nations, this language continues to be the mainstay of virtually every UN resolution and conference that has mentioned the family,” the groups state in joint statement on the agreement that is currently being negotiated and will be adopted in September as the UN celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding.

It adds that it would be “tragic” to see the insertion of ambiguous family language in the agreement instead.

The statement urges UN member states to include the language of the declaration in order “to ensure the post-2015 summit outcome reflects the majority view that the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society, where children are the natural fruit of the love between men and women.”

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has accompanied virtually every reference to the family in UN agreements since the declaration was first adopted in 1948. This may not be the case for much longer.

The paragraph that mentions the family in the draft agreement that is currently being negotiated leaves out the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The African group, consisting of 57 African nations, and the largest regional negotiating bloc at the UN, is the only group of nations to express their desire for the language from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be included in the new development agreement so far this week. They said they would prefer to have no reference to the family in the final outcome than not include the language of the declaration.

Other negotiating blocs that would normally side with the Africans, such as the Arab group and the Caribbean nations have dithered under pressure from the United States and European countries. While they will not commit to recognizing same-sex relations, they have accepted to leave out the language of the declaration.

During negotiations countries from Europe and America have said the family is irrelevant to social and economic development, and have asked for deletion of the paragraph or recognition of “various forms of family”—a phrase by which they also mean same-sex relations. None have supported inclusion of the language from the declaration.

Insiders know this is a negotiating tactic.

The Europeans and Americans don’t want a reference to family with the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because it excludes any international recognition of same-sex relations as capable of constituting a family. A reference to family accompanied by the language of the declaration would qualify any reference to family in the context of the implementation of the new development agreement.

By leaving out the language of the declaration these countries will feel they have the necessary wiggle room to promote same-sex relations as families through the UN system.

Source*

Related Topics:

UN Passes ‘unprecedented’ Pro-family Resolution, Outraging Sex Liberators*

The American Family Being Forced Into Extinction*

African Bishops against the Vatican Move to Destroy the Family*

Thousands Rally in Rome to defend Natural Family and against Gender Theory*

Mexico’s Cardinal Sandoval Referred to the NWO Intent to Destroy the Family*

Tens of Thousands in Mexico Protest Gay ‘marriage’ Decision*

Israeli Burnt To Death 18-Month-Old Baby*

Israeli Burnt To Death 18-Month-Old Baby*

By Saed Bannoura

Right-wing Jewish extremist settlers near Nablus firebombed a Palestinian home on Thursday night, starting a fire which destroyed the house and burned a baby to death, as well as severely burning the baby’s four-year-old brother, mother and father.

The baby who was killed in the attack was about 18 months old. He was identified as Ali Saad Dawabsha.

The attack took place at about 2:30 in the morning, in the village of Douma, in the northern part of the West Bank near the city of Nablus.

The Israeli fanatics arrived in the dead of night in the village, and began by spray-painting hate slogans against Palestinians on the Dawabsha family home. They then broke a window and threw a firebomb inside, setting off the fire that killed the baby.

The graffiti, written in Hebrew, included the phrase ‘price tag’, which is a slogan used by right-wing Israeli extremists against Palestinians – the reference being that continued Palestinian existence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank would exact a price from the Israeli colonizers.

Although the Israeli military spokesperson issued a ‘tweet’ on his Twitter account that this was a “barbarous act of terrorism,” the army has not issued an official statement, and the perpetrators have not been found.

The Father Sa’ad Dawabsha, the mother Reham, 37, and their child Ahmad, four years of age, have been seriously injured in the attack.

Sa’ad’s home was completely burnt, while the home of Ma’moun Rashid Dawabsha was partially burnt.

Resident Musallam Dawabsha, 23, told the Maan News Agency that his family saw four Israeli fanatics running away towards the Ma’ale Efrayim illegal Israeli colony, built on stolen Palestinian lands near the village.

He added that a young woman, who lives near the Dawabsha home, saw the extremists hurling the firebombs into the home before fleeing the scene.

Palestinian and international human rights groups have documented on multiple occasions the relative impunity of Israeli settlers who attack Palestinian civilians. Very rarely do the cases result in an arrest, and prosecution of the perpetrator is even more rare.

Source*

Related Topics:

Trial of Murder Most Horrid of Palestinian boy starts in Israel*

Palestine from Sovereignty to an Israeli Enclave*

Israel Considering Leaving UN Human Rights Council after Gaza Report*

Criminal Syndicate with Links to Terrorism Infiltrated Bank of England*

Criminal Syndicate with Links to Terrorism Infiltrated Bank of England*

A powerful criminal syndicate with links to money laundering, assassinations and terrorism infiltrated the Bank of England (BoE), a damning new report has revealed.

The scandal was uncovered by BuzzFeed News on Thursday, following an investigation into how the UK’s criminal underworld penetrated ithe state’s central bank.

Operation Beregon, run by MI5 and Scotland Yard, reportedly uncovered a suspected criminal plot so serious that police believed it could “destabilize” Britain’s economy.

Details of the covert operation were unveiled by BuzzFeed News, after it secured access to secret police documents and conducted interviews with a number of key sources.

Detectives realized the BoE had been infiltrated by the criminal syndicate in 1998 after police tapped the smartphone of a crooked businessman known as The Suit.

The businessman in question had been suspected of laundering money for a slew of criminal gangs. After intercepting his mobile phone, Police reported hearing him receive sensitive information from inside the Bank.

The explosive scandal, which marked a massive breach of national security, was covered up MI5 spooks and senior police officers for more than 16 years. This veil of secrecy protected those implicated in the scandal from public, political and legal scrutiny.

Police warned top bankers at the time that sensitive information had been leaked to a wealthy businessman with links to the criminal underworld. But the mole was never identified, no one was held accountable inside the BoE, and The Suit remains a free man.

BuzzFeed News alleges the wife of a Bank of England official may have been implicated in the leak. She was reportedly engaged in an affair with The Suit.

Detectives who had tapped his phone listened in on a number of his conversations with the woman, and concluded he was exploiting her to glean information that would enable him to gamble on the financial markets.

BuzzFeed’s investigation revealed the businessman was given ultra-sensitive information about the BoE’s monetary policy committee (MPC), which sets the Bank’s base interest rate.

However, there is no evidence a member of the Committee leaked this information.

BuzzFeed says the affair and the secret financial data allegedly gleaned from it were uncovered in 1998, after detectives had begun to tap The Suit’s phone. The investigation is believed to have been later taken over by MI5 because of the threat the leaks posed to national security and Britain’s economy at large.

The BoE told BuzzFeed News no mole was ever identified or held accountable.

“The Bank of England was approached regarding a potential issue by the police at the time. The Bank followed it up and nothing was found to substantiate the claims of a leak,” he said.

The businessman at the center of BuzzFeed’s investigation flatly denies laundering money or acting as a conduit for organized crime chiefs. In an official statement, his lawyers told the website he did not receive any information from the BoE.

A secret intelligence report, seen by BuzzFeed News, is said to reveal that the targets of Operation Beregon were The Suit and two criminals who hailed from East London. Each of these men was suspected of being powerful organized crime chiefs who had links to terror groups worldwide.

“These men are not only involved with numerous criminal gangs within the United Kingdom, but also four separate terrorist groups across the world and criminal organizations including the mafia and the most powerful Dutch criminal organizations,” the report said.

Each of the suspected crime chiefs allegedly had a group of lovers across London, of which the wife of the Bank of England mole was one.

A source with knowledge of Operation Beregon said criminal infiltration of Britain’s financial landscape has been a concern for quite some time.

“Organized crime’s infiltration of the City of London and financial services industry has long been a concern,” he said.

“Intelligence such as this was a real risk to the economic well-being of the UK and shouldn’t have been suppressed.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Bank of England Top-Secret E-mails Forwarded to Journalist on Financial Fallout while MP’s are Kept in the Dark*

Hackers Steal $1bn from Banks*

Rothschild’s Central Banks Losing Control*

Austria No Longer Guarantees Bank Deposits*

Asian Bank Threatens the Dollar, so U.S. Threatens China*

The Clintons and their Bankster Friends, 1992-2016*

Six African-American Women Found Dead in Jail in July*

Six African-American Women Found Dead in Jail in July*

© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

A total of six African-American women have been found dead in police custody in just the last month. Most of the deceased women had been in jail for no more than two days and held for minor charges. Their deaths are all under investigation.

The six women are: Sandra Bland of Texas, Kindra Chapman of Alabama, Joyce Curnell of South Carolina, Ralkina Jones of Ohio, Alexis McGovern of Missouri, and Raynetta Turner of New York.

It has been 17 days since activist Sandra Bland was found hanging in her cell in Texas three days after being arrested for a traffic violation. On Thursday, the activist peace organization CODEPINK joined the DC Chapter of Black Lives Matter in delivering a petition with over 500,000 signatures to the Department of Justice, demanding a thorough investigation into the events surrounding Bland’s arrest and death.

AceBoonCoon @NorthSideAce

african american women have the lowest suicide rate among all nationalities but you find 2 in less then 24 hours while in police custody…

12:00 AM – 25 Jul 2015

Bland’s death has once again raised questions about how inmates, and particularly women, are treated in custody.

Turner, 44, was the latest African-American woman to die in jail. Her death was discovered in a Mt. Vernon, New York jail cell on Monday.

Turner had been arrested for shoplifting on Saturday and taken to a local hospital after notifying officials of various health issues, according to ABC News affiliate Channel 7. She was returned to her cell Sunday and fingerprinted early Monday morning. Turner was found unresponsive in her cell at 2 pm that same day, and her death is now under investigation.

“All I know is my wife is dead and no one is saying anything,” said Herman Turner, Raynetta’s husband, to ABC.

There are four other women who have been found dead as well. Kindra Chapman, 18, committed suicide in an Alabama jail after being held for only two hours on July 14, following her arrest for allegedly stealing a cell phone.

Joyce Curnell, 50, was found dead on July 23 at the Charleston County Correctional Facility. Curnell, too, had first gone to the hospital because of a medical issue before being sent to jail. She was arrested for shoplifting.

On Sunday, Ralkina Jones, 37, was found unresponsive in a Cleveland Heights, Ohio jail after a Friday arrest for a domestic dispute with her husband.

There have been more than 600 fatal police encounters with the public in the United States this year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

“Deaths in police custody are often associated with excessive force, medical neglect, or failure to prevent suicide, and they are more common than they should be,” Matt Simpson, senior policy strategist for the ACLU of Texas, told Reuters.

US government prison data shows that 4,309 inmates died in local jails or state prisons in 2012. About one-third of suicides in local jails occurred within seven days of the individual’s being arrested.

Source*

Related Topics:

Black Female Activist Falsely Accused of Lynching*

Baltimore Prosecutor: I Owe My Success to “Warrior Women”*

Soros Turned Ferguson from a Local Protest to a National Flashpoint*

Report Confirms Predatory System of Ferguson*

Some Police Departments have been under Investigation*

Six Baltimore Officers Indicted for Freddie Gray’s Death, but…*

Indicted for Murder, Police Officer Faces 30 to Life for Killing Walter Scott*

A Glorious Past Before Colonialism and the Oppression of African Women*

From Selma to Ferguson: Renewing the Right to Vote*

To be Fully Human*

They say #WeRise to Reclaim Government for the People*

The Watery Road to Serfdom: After Detroit, Baltimore*

Black Wall Street*

Water as a Weapon in Baltimore*

Democrats Hope to Bury Black Lives Matter in the Elections*

Government Sells Native Sacred Land to Mining Company*

Government Sells Native Sacred Land to Mining Company*

Washington, DC – As if leaving Native Americans with nothing but miniscule plots of reservation land and systemic brokenness wasn’t enough, now the white man is at it again- robbing the Apache of a sacred ceremonial ground in Oak Flat, Arizona.  The US government gave the Apache land to a foreign mining company, saying the native people could still use the grounds for traditional gatherings “after the land exchange has been completed, so long as it remains safe to do so.” The sacred land will unlikely be “safe” for ceremonies once it is functioning as a mine. John McCain and Jeff Flake, major proponents of the land theft, both received hefty contributions from the mining company, Rio Tinto.

Source*

Related Topics:

Police Killing Indigenous Americans at Astounding Rate*

McCain Appointed to Ukraine “Reform Advisory Team”*

Staged ISIS Beheading Video Hacked from McCain Staffer*