Specificity of education in Africa
In the last many decades, Africa's education landscape has been changing. From a paradigm shift in teaching approaches, integration of technology in academia, curriculum development to the establishment of more learning institutions, there is a lot that the content has achieved thus far. However, while there are indicators that a lot more is set to be realized such as Universal education under different flagships such as Africa’s Millennium development goals (MDGs), vision 20130 and among other initiatives, there are still instances of underwhelming performance in some parts of the continent.
The big question
Thus, the question many are asking is whether education in Africa as a whole will be able to achieve impressive success in the next few years. It is because, according to research-based expert opinion, a one-in-three African child is still out of school. Brookings Center for Universal Education (CUE), which recently conducted a study in this area points out that there is need to change this worrying trend that is threatening to stall access to learning opportunities for the African child.
This post will look at the specificity of education in Africa, in which case, if you are looking forward to crafting a research paper, look to the EduBirdie Australia, a place where you can get scholastic writing assistance at incredibly low pay.
The unending debate
In international forums focusing on education and in debates taking place in different parts of the African continent, the issue of Universal education accessible to every African child has been raging. Thousands of students from all over Africa still seek learning opportunities abroad, and many experts argue that the mass application for student visas in the content is linked to a quality of education that doesn’t meet global standards, albeit, not all areas are affected.
The issue of quality that students get from Africa’s learning institutions, especially in colleges and Universities thus brings to the fore, another important concern. Does the education system in Africa rank above par and how many manage to qualify for higher learning opportunities after completing their secondary education? Well, according to CEU research findings, about 61 million African children reach adolescence without basic literacy skills. It means a whole generation is looking at a shuttered future because it lacks numeracy skills necessary for problem-solving and job acquisition.
A look at specificities of Africa’s education landscape and systems further cuts across many other areas, and not just the number of students seeking learning opportunities abroad. They include the following:
School Enrolment in Numbers
The number of students enrolling in schools across Africa has been rising steadily. It means, while the continent has been lagging behind in providing access to education for its children, initiatives developed by governments such as free and subsidized education in countries like Kenya has been well-received by those who were initially locked out by high costs of learning.
CEU statistics indicate that those enrolling in African school for the first time now stand at 76%, which is a big improvement from the last ten years when the percentage stood at 58. Countries that have immensely contributed to a larger part of this percentage are Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania.
Africa’s education and pedagogy
Countries like Rwanda have become pacesetters in Africa’s learning sphere, especially in the education sector. While we acknowledge that other parts of the world have so far deployed advanced learning IT systems, education gadgets have helped solve many of Africa's education problems. Today, students can access learning content on the go, which means, home tutoring is steadily becoming a reality. That is not all. Involvement of IT firms in this sector has helped take pedagogical approaches in academia to the next level.
Do schools in Africa provide enough access to learning materials?
While this may not be easy to determine without dependable research figures, CUE Learning barometer provides rare insights into just what is taking place. In a study that covered 28 countries, and further narrowed down to learning threshold for pupils in Grade 4 and 5, there is a worrying a trend regarding the scores that students get out of assignments.
About 23 million children, according to the study, fall below the minimum learning threshold, something which is compounded by problems in education management in different parts of the continent. In South Africa for example, a third of 3rd and 4th grades acquire learning whose value is below the threshold set by CUE.
Learning disparities are largely to blame in this regard, and it is because children from poor backgrounds rank lower in performance than those from rich neighborhoods in South Africa’s suburban. This trend replicates what happens elsewhere in most parts of the continent.
The bottom line is that, while creation of education awareness in Africa has thus far achieved impressive results, many areas are still underwhelming such as quality of education, number of students in a classroom versus teacher and challenges in providing early childhood education. Education funding is still largely in limbo, but literacy levels keep rising, which is a pointer to a great future for the African child.