Africa’s economic potentials are very inviting; and as the world continue to invest in the continent, it is on Africa to develop the capabilities and competences required to manage these investments and grow in a sustainable fashion. Needless to say, education will play a very pivotal role in achieving this.
The continent spends a higher percentage of its overall GDP on education than the likes of Latin America and some Asian countries, but basic skills in reading and mathematics are still low. Over the past six years, Morocco has spent about the same amount per capita on education as Thailand, yet Morocco sees lower performance from its students. The same story holds for Botswana and South Korea. The key learning here is pretty obvious: merely adding teachers and other resources to schools is necessary but not sufficient to drive the academic performance of students.
Africa successfully boosted primary and secondary school enrolment between 1999 and 2008 by 14 percent and 10 percent respectively. Madagascar seems to have the highest enrolment for primary schools while Zambia takes the lead for secondary schools. Increasing enrolment in schools is clearly a challenge but the greater challenge lies in improving the quality of education in those schools. Africa has struggled in this area just like other emerging economies.
Governments and other regulatory bodies have to introduce strong Performance Measurement systems to improve teaching standards and school management practices across board. Teachers have to be more thoroughly trained, not just increased in number. A number of lessons can be learned from Tunisia & Ghana who seem to be doing well in maths and science.
Africa’s revolution would be grossly incomplete without a commensurate boost in the education of her citizenry.
Source: Ventures Africa