Home | News    Wednesday 27 July 2011

Squandering the South Sudanese’s education: UK publishers corruption revealed

by Toby Collins

July 26, 2011 (LONDON) – One of the world’s leading publishers of English Language teaching and school curriculum materials “agreed a civil recovery order of £11.2m (US$17.7m)“, for their actions in South Sudan, according to their 22 July statement.

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Boys play outside a decaying school in 2010, South Sudan (Small Arms Survey)

Macmillian is a UK publishing company owned by the German Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group which made US$3,419.6m in 2009.

For paying South Sudanese officials to secure education contracts it has also been banned from World Bank tenders for at least three years.

Police raided Macmillan’s offices in London in 2010 following a two year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, after the World Bank reported incidents of bribery.

Macmillian has now terminated all its tenders in west and east Africa.

It admitted that a representative of Macmillan Education made "improper and unauthorised payments" to local officials in South Sudan, in a bid to win a multimillion dollar contract, which failed.

The contract was to print English language teaching and school curriculum materials. The tender was part of a US$45.9m project to develop the school curriculum, train thousands of teachers, build 100 schools and refurbish a further 50.

An EU delegation Juba, on 22 July, emphasised their concerns on the matter of corruption within the broader terms of the future success of South Sudan.

The president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, spoke of his commitment to stamp out corruption during the independence day celebrations on 9 July.

With power and wealth currently very centralised; an influx of investment; and a lack of training in government, dissuading people from the road of corruption will be challenging.

It is estimated that overall the adult literacy rates in South Sudan is 24% and just 12% for women.

(ST)