Almost 50,000 Nigerians have signed a petition calling for an end to international English language tests that many see as unfair.
The mostly young petitioners are discussing the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a test of English-language proficiency for non-native English-language speakers which is mostly managed by the British Council.
The petitioners argue that since English is Nigeria’s official language and the first language for many people here – a legacy of British colonial rule – the country should be exempt from the test.
The $200 (£151) test has a two-year validity and is mandatory for those that want to study in the UK, parts of Europe and the US.
Many people are wondering why the test expires after two years and consider it exploitative.
Others like this Twitter user want the validity period of the test extended:
The campaign seems to be spearheaded by Ebenezar Wikina, an open-source advocate, who tweeted on Wednesday that he has received a response from the UK home office, three months after writing to them:
Source: BBC

Small and Medium Enterprise Minister, Elias Mubanga has encouraged the youth to team up and form companies.

Mr Mubanga says his ministry is ready to fully encourage and support young people with entrepreneural minds.

Speaking when he toured Vox water processing company in Chongwe area, Mr Mubanga praised management at the plant, which is Zambian owned.

He said his ministry is ready to support the water plant which will soon start manufacturing medical syringes to be supplied in Zambian hospitals and for export.

Mr. Mubanga said government will help the company to secure the markets for its products.

And Vox plant processing plant Director, Nathan Chulu expressed happiness with the Minister’s visit to the plant.

 

Source: ZNBC

At least 15 people in Mozambique have died across the country as a result of the tropical storm Ana, relief authorities say.

The weather phenomenon which started on Monday in the northern region has left a trail of destruction to public and private property, including homes, hospitals, schools, electricity pylons, and bridges.

The western Tete province has been worst hit, where six people, including children, have died - most of them after being smashed by falling walls.

The city of Tete has been disconnected from Moatise district after the bridge on River Rovubwe, a tributary of the major Zambezi river, collapsed.

Four vehicles in an entourage that included the Tete governor, the city’s mayor and other staff accompanying them were swept away by the river – as they were returning from surveying the damage.

The governor, the mayor and most of the other passengers were rescued.

However, three people, including a journalist, are still missing.

Although the tropical storm has dissipated, meteorologists say heavy rains, strong winds and thunderstorms will continue in the central and northern regions.

Source: BBC

President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA has urged pupils countrywide to take advantage of his administration’s free education policy by being focused and studying hard.

The President has called on the pupils NOT to waste the opportunity.

He says by studying hard and being focused, pupils will be able to add value to their communities.

President HICHILEMA says free education was a gift by Zambia’s founding father Dr. KENNETH KAUNDA and the UPND Administration is passing the gift to all pupils.

In a Statement on the President’s Facebook page, The Head of State said his administration is poised to invest in sectors that guarantee the future of children such as Education.

President HICHILEMA said as he and other leaders travel abroad to woo foreign investment, his administration will invest in children’s welfare as they are a greatest resource.

 

Source: ZNBC

Police in Lusaka have recorded a warn and caution statement from Kenmark Broadcasting Network -KBN- Journalist, PETTY CHANDA for the offence of destroying evidence.

Police Spokesperson, RAE HAMOONGA says this is contrary to section 111 of the Penal Code of the laws of Zambia.

Mr HAMOONGA says Ms. CHANDA 38 of Chelston has since been released.

He said investigations are STILL on-going.

 

Source: ZNBC

The world will miss the goal of quality education for all by 2030 with sub-Sahara Africa faring the worst of all, according a new study by the UN's education organisation, Unesco.

In the region, millions of children will continue to miss out on school and high-quality learning, the study found.

In sub-Saharan Africa 8% of children of primary school age are predicted to be out of school by the 2030 deadline. This is an improvement on the current figure of 19%.

No region is on track to achieve the goal of universal completion of secondary education by 2030.BBC

If it can be said that an education system is as good as its teachers, then the report is a wake-up call for leaders in Africa.

Despite the region’s best efforts, over a quarter of pre-primary teachers will remain untrained.

However, the percentage of trained teachers globally is expected to increase between 2015 and 2030 to over 90% at each level of education. The fastest growth is expected at the pre-primary education level, from 70% to 94%.

Source: BBC

An international pressure group says hundreds of inmates may have died in last month's prison fire in Burundi, and is calling for a "transparent investigation".

The authorities have said no more than 46 people lost their lives.

Survivors told Human Rights Watch the blaze engulfed several prison blocks at the jail in the capital, Gitega.

The emergency services did not arrive until two hours after the fire started.

Eyewitnesses said the dead were buried in mass graves with no attempt to identify them.

Human Rights Watch said the jail was holding more than three times its maximum capacity of inmates, many of whom were political prisoners.

Source: BBC

Following a deadly explosion last week, Ghanaian authorities in Ghana have shut down Maxam Mining Company Limited - the company responsible for manufacturing, storing, and transporting explosive materials for mining operations in the country.

Ghana's Chief Inspector of Mines has also been suspended.

Investigations are under way, the authorities say, into Thursday's blast near the mining town of Bogoso, that killed at least 14 people and injured dozens of others.

The explosion has raised a lot of questions regarding safety protocols as trucks transport explosive materials on busy roads.

The National Disaster Management Organisation says more than 40 critically injured people are being treated in hospitals, and more than 500 homes have been destroyed.

Government and non-governmental organizations have been sending relief items to survivors.

These photos show the site of the blast in the village of Apiatse before, and afterwards:

Source: BBC

Police in Lusaka have questioned Former Patriotic Front -PF- Secretary General DAVIES MWILA in connection with three vehicles that were used for campaigns in Northern Province.

Speaking to Journalists after about two hours of the interrogations, Mr MWILA’s Lawyer KAMBWA AONGOLA said his team has not been availed the full details of the complainant and the offence that may have been committed.

Mr AONGOLA said the investigation ended at Mr MWILA saying what he knows about the vehicles.

He said the Police termed the investigation as ongoing and that they are likely to get back to Mr. MWILA and his lawyers.

Meanwhile, PF Member CHISHIMBA KAMBWILI praised the police for interrogating Mr MWILA and letting him go without detaining him.


Source: ZNBC

The Zambia Police Service on the Copperbelt says it has taken control of the security situation after a spate of robberies and murders recorded in the province recently.

The business community on the Copperbelt on Friday expressed concern over the security situation in the province amid increased reports of robbery and murder.

In a media statement, Ndola District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NDCCI) President Paul Chisunka said Police and other security wings must urgently address the security situation in the province.

In an interview with journalists in Ndola, Police acting Copperbelt Province Commissioner Tresford Kasale said police have intensified patrols in the province to combat crime.

Mr. Kasale said the recent gunning down of two suspected criminals in Kitwe was a warning to lawbreakers on the Copperbelt.

He said the police want to see people live in peace and harmony in the province.

“I may say we had experienced some robberies; of course not Chief Executive Officers were targeted and Police we have made some efforts to ensure that we stop such kind of criminality in the province,” Mr. Kasale said.

“We have intensified our foot patrols, motorized patrols both during the day and night. So as it is I may say the province is peaceful. Yes some arrests have been made and of course if you remember there were some shootouts where two suspected criminals were shot. We are doing all these to ensure that we eradicate all the criminal activities in the province,” he said.

Mr. Kasale said the two suspected criminals gunned down in Kitwe last Wednesday shot at police as they were being pursued.

“Upon seeing the police, the criminals fired at the Police and the police retaliated. Unfortunately the two criminals were gunned down. And these criminals are actually linked to a number of aggravated robberies. So my appeal to the general public is that those who have got information pertaining to other criminals let them come forward,” Mr. Kasale said.

He warned that Police on the Copperbelt will not watch by as criminals terrorise people in the province.

“This is a warning to the criminals in the province that as Police we shall not sit idle and see criminal activities being committed in the province. We shall ensure that we do things according to the law and we are there to ensure that people in Kitwe and elsewhere in the province enjoy the peace they want to enjoy,” he said.

A criminal, who was armed with two pistols, last month shot dead a Kitwe business executive of Asian origin at his home in Parklands as he demanded money.

The criminal snatched K8, 000 cash from one of the victims, shot dead Karthik Limbachiya aged 23 while wounding Jikar Nai.

Meanwhile, armed robbers in the early hours of New Year attacked Kitwe businessman, Irvin Chilufya and his family, robbing him of a motor vehicle Nissan Navara registration KCM 33, three firearms, five phones, a laptop and a First National Bank (FNB) ATM card.

Mr Chilufya, 54, of Kamfinsa farm area in Kitwe was allegedly attacked by the criminals together with his two daughters at his house after coming back from New Year’s countdown with his family.

“I can confirm that we had an incident of robbery where Mr Chilufya aged 54 and his family, was robbed at his house after coming from a New Year countdown. It is believed that the criminals armed with firearms and pangas had set a trap for Mr Chilufya. The victim was attacked and robbed of a motor vehicle Nissan Navara registration KCM 33, three firearms, five phones, a laptop and an FNB ATM card,’’ Mr Kasale told journalists at the time.

Source: Lusaka Times

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