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Africa Faces Surge of Secondary School Students | Africa | English - 0 views

  • Africa’s educational systems are suffering from growing pains.  More students than ever are enrolling in school, but the supply of teachers and infrastructure have not kept up with demand.

    Educators say about 80 percent of African students are completing primary school -- thanks in part to the push to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. They call for universal primary education by the 2015.

    John Daniel, the president and CEO of the intergovernmental organization the Commonwealth of Learning, says success is bringing more challenges.

    Secondary school students at KwaMhlanga High School in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
    SCOPE
    Secondary school students at KwaMhlanga High School in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

    “The African countries achieved in 10 years what it took many developed countries 100 years to do two centuries ago," he said, "and they don’t have many resources left over to do secondary.”

  • “Girls who have secondary education … have on average worldwide one-point-eight fewer children than girls who don’t," he said. "That’s a difference of two or three billion to the population of the world by 2050. There is [one educational researcher, Joel Cohen] who says therefore girls’ education is best way of stopping population growth and climate change.”
  • The Commonwealth of Learning proposes open schools, using new technologies and new ways to meet the needs of school aged children, drop-outs, mothers who want to learn at home and working adults.

    He said the schools cut costs and save time by using new technologies, including cell phones. Secondary school curricula can be created and shared among schools without costly intellectual property rights.

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  • That’s exactly what’s happening in a project involving six Commonwealth countries that develop and share course materials – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia and Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Some secondary schools in Africa are considering the use of cell phones to reach students who cannot attend traditional classroom lectures.  Instead, they can listen to lessons sent by voicemail and even take tests by phone.
Teachers Without Borders

Experts Tackling Education in Africa | Africa | English - 0 views

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    How do you fix education in Africa, where students have far fewer opportunities than their counterparts in other parts of the world? There are two schools of thought on the subject: do you invest bottom up? Or top down?

    The statistics are hard to ignore.  Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest-ranked region in the world on the United Nations' education development index.

    The U.N. education agency (UNESCO) says a quarter of all children in sub-Saharan Africa do not go to school, and account for 43 percent of the world's out-of-school children.

    Meantime, the African Union (AU) has said the continent will need to recruit more than 2 million new teachers by 2015, just three years from now.

    While the U.N. and the AU agree on the scope of the education challenges facing the continent, they are from two separate schools of thought on how to remedy the situation.
Teachers Without Borders

Global development voices: Africa's teachers | Global development | guardian.co.uk - 0 views

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    Eight teachers tell us about the progress of education in their country, what they see as the biggest challenges for African teachers and students - and their hopes for the future 
Teachers Without Borders

Global teacher shortage threatens progress on education | Global development | guardian... - 0 views

  • The world urgently needs to recruit more than 8 million extra teachers, according to UN estimates, warning that a looming shortage of primary school teachers threatens to undermine global efforts to ensure universal access to primary education by 2015.

    At least 2m new teaching positions will need to be created by 2015, the UN said in a report published this week. An additional 6.2 million teachers will need to be recruited to maintain current workforces and replace those expected to retire or leave classrooms due to career changes, illnesses, or death.

  • According to Unesco's projections, the greatest challenges lie in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 1m teaching posts will need to be created by 2015 to meet the needs of a growing number of primary students. Population growth and the push to get all children into school by 2015 has led enrolment rates to soar in many countries, but quality of education will remain a prime concern if countries fail to get enough teachers into classrooms. A total of 350,000 teachers should be hired in sub-Saharan Africa each year until 2015 to fill new posts and compensate for teachers expected to leave the workforce, said the report.
  • "In many regions a low proportion of female teachers will mean fewer girls at school and consequently even fewer women teachers in the future," said Unesco's director general, Irina Bokova, in a statement on Wednesday,
Teachers Without Borders

Pakistan declares 'education emergency' « World Education Blog - 0 views

  • Kicking off a campaign aimed at making March “the month that Pakistan talks about only two things: education and cricket”, a government commission has painted a damning picture of the country’s education system, whose poor progress towards global learning goals has been documented in the Education for All Global Monitoring Report.
  • the Pakistan Education Task Force says the country “is in the midst of an educational emergency with disastrous human and economic consequences.”
  • The report quotes the 2010 Global Monitoring Report’s finding that “30% of Pakistanis live in extreme educational poverty – having received less than two years of education.”
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  • In a powerful paper on education reform in Pakistan, Sir Michael quotes Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder, who said in 1947, “Education is a matter of life and death for Pakistan. The world is progressing so rapidly that without the requisite advance in education, not only shall we be left behind others but we may be wiped out altogether.”
  • The challenge now is to find that political will – the will to turn more words into concrete changes for the 7.3 million Pakistani children who are out of school – the world’s second-largest population of out-of-school children (after Nigeria).
  • As the 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring Report noted, Pakistan spends seven times more on the military than on primary education. One fifth of Pakistan’s military budget would be enough to pay for every child to complete primary school.
Teachers Without Borders

For refugees in Kenya, 'education is the only thing we can take home' « World... - 0 views

  • In many ways, Kenya is an example of an African success story in education. According to the 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report, growth in the number of children attending school has accelerated, the gender gap has narrowed and it is one of the few countries in the region expected to achieve the Education for All goal of halving adult illiteracy by 2015. Efforts are being made to ensure education quality does not suffer as the number entering school expands. The Kenyan government should be commended for its efforts in all of these areas.
  • Despite this progress, one marginalized group has remained beyond the radar: displaced people. Kenya is host to some of the largest refugee populations on the continent. The government is unable to stretch its limited resources to support their education, and education is not seen as a priority by international agencies in humanitarian situations – just 2% of humanitarian aid overall is allocated to education. This is part of the hidden crisis documented in the 2011 Global Monitoring Report.
  • Speaking of the Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya, home to some refugees for as long as for 20 years, Mohamed Elmi noted: “Dadaab suffers from overcrowded classrooms, insufficient trained teachers, and too few opportunities for secondary-age students.”
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  • The challenges are indeed immense. The number of Somalis entering Kenya grows daily, but the resources available for education have not kept pace. “Education is the only thing we can take home,” refugees I met when I visited Dadaab last year told me.
  • Recognition by the Kenyan government of the challenges faced by refugees is an important first step in filling these unmet needs. The next step will be to ensure that refugee education is incorporated within the government’s strategic planning, and that pressure is put on aid donors to make sufficient funds available on a multiyear basis.
Teachers Without Borders

Pakistan schools campaign hopes to avert 'education emergency' | World news | The Guardian - 0 views

  • With millions of children out of school and one-fifth of teachers playing truant, Pakistan faces an "education emergency" that costs the economic equivalent of its flood disaster every year, a new campaign has warned.
  • One in 10 of the world's out-of-school children live in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state that last year spent just 2% of GDP on education.

  • The number of children absent from primary school – seven million – is roughly equivalent to the population of its second largest city, Lahore.

    Half of the population is illiterate and progress is painfully slow – at present rates the government will not deliver universal education in Balochistan, the largest province, until 2100.

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  • Campaigners want to raise awareness in a country that is becoming dangerously polarised. Pakistan's elite educates its offspring at expensive schools in Pakistan or abroad, and so education has slipped off the political agenda.
  • Politicians use schools as patronage, and although public teachers are relatively well-paid, 15%-20% are absent from class on any given day.
  • Critics said the campaign fails to focus on the outdated curriculum in Pakistani schools that promotes a narrow view of Islam, hatred of Hindus and other bigotry.

Teachers Without Borders

UNGEI - News and Events - Partnering with the philanthropic community to promote educat... - 0 views

  • “Most countries in the very poor world cannot afford to provide free access to secondary education,” Prof. Sachs told UNICEF Radio. “Even the Millennium Development Goals fall short of what they need to be, because they only talk about primary education.”
  • In addition to financial support, schools need to provide young people with a quality education, including Internet access, to help develop a globally connected curriculum that meets students’ needs.
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    NEW YORK, USA, 1 March 2011 - The United Nations Economic and Social Council is meeting at UN Headquarters in New York this week on partnering with the philanthropic community to promote education for all children.
     AUDIO: Listen now

    Participants hope to accelerate progress in achieving universal education by engaging supporters from the private sector and philanthropic community to help fund and promote global education initiatives.
Teachers Without Borders

allAfrica.com: Kenya: Nation Wins Praise for Its Education Budget - 2 views

  • Tunis — Kenya has been cited as one of the best spenders in education in Africa, signalling its commitment to international development goals.

    An international education conference in Tunis, Tunisia, heard at the weekend that Kenya commits 7 per cent of its total income to education annually, surpassing the continental average of 5 per cent.

  • The figure this year is Sh180 billion, with basic education taking Sh150 billion and Sh30 billion for higher education.

    As a result, school enrolment has increased by more than 20 per cent in the past five years, putting the country on good stead to realise education for all goals.

Teachers Without Borders

The East African:  - News |How long do East African pupils remain in school? - 0 views

  • Tanzania and Burundi, for instance, have recorded a 99 per cent enrolment rate into the first grade of primary school.

    The pertinent question is: How effective are these funds in retaining children in school?

    Once enrolled, how long can the pupils be expected to last in the education system, and how many years of schooling, on average, are actually attained by East African pupils?

  • However, East Africa is faring badly a 9.1 years, equivalent to a pupil completing primary school, but dropping out of high school.

    The average number of school years actually completed regionally was a mere 4.7 years.

    The scenario is particularly dismal in Burundi, where on average pupils completed only 2.7 years of school.

  • According to the Global Education Digest 2010 published by Unesco, in the late 1990s, developing countries began to recover some of the educational ground lost in the 1980s, when enrolments stagnated or even declined in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

    In fact, the pace of progress accelerated since 2000 and if trends between 2000 and 2008 continue, the increase in school life expectancy in the current decade will be three times the level achieved in the 1970s.

    In sub-Saharan Africa, school life expectancy nearly doubled from 4.4 years to 8.4 years in the past 30 years.

    Despite this progress, the region has the lowest number of school years — almost half of the number of years in North America and Western Europe (16.0 years).

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  • As pointed out by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, primary education without transition into secondary and tertiary levels can only lock a country in a basic factor-driven economy.
  • n Burundi, for instance, government commitments to providing universal primary education appear to be directed towards enrolment.

    From an enrolment rate of 36 per cent in 1999, the country recorded a full 99 per cent of girls and close to 100 per cent of boys enrolled in primary school nine years later.

    School drop-out rates are high however, as only 45 per cent of Burundian children complete a full course of primary education.

  • Girls in Rwandan primary schools outnumber boys: 97 per cent of girls compared with 95 per cent of boys are enrolled in primary school.

    Slightly more than half (54 per cent) of Rwandan children complete primary school.

    Secondary school enrolment in the country stands at 21.9 per cent, the second lowest in the region.

  • he situation in Uganda is similar — 98 per cent of girls and 96 per cent of boys are currently enrolled in primary school.

    Completion rate of primary school is 56 per cent. The transition rate into secondary school is low, however, with most pupils unable to progress past the final grade of primary school — only 21 per cent of girls and 22 per cent of boys make it into secondary school.

  • Kenya lags behind other East African countries in primary school enrolment — 82 per cent of girls and 81 per cent of boys of primary age are enrolled in school.
Teachers Without Borders

Midterm report: Tanzania's educational revolution needs investment | Global development... - 0 views

  • Enrolment at primary schools nationwide has leapt from 59% in 2000 to 95.4% today, putting the impoverished country well on course to achieve the second millennium development goal (MDG) of primary school education for all by 2015.
  • half of pupils will fail to qualify for secondary school, with 3,000 girls a year dropping out due to pregnancy.
  • The progress has come with a lesson in the law of unintended consequences. Enrolment has grown so fast in Tanzania that the school system is creaking with overcrowded classrooms, shortages of books, teachers and toilets, and reports of corporal punishment being used to keep order. In short, it seems that quality has been sacrificed for quantity.
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  • 32-year-old Grace Mayemba, who teaches English, Swahili and social studies. "It's so hard because there are so many," she says.

    "They are noisy and can do anything. To make each child understand is very difficult but you have to try your best.

  • Salima Omari, 36, a science and maths teacher, faces classes of 76 pupils. "It's difficult to cope with when you want to give one-to-one support. There are only four toilets for the whole school and two for the teachers, and there is not much water. The MDG has been good for Tanzania overall, but it was rushed."
  • With significant donor support from Britain and others, the government has allocated more than 2tn shillings (£856,000) for education in 2010-11, about double its spending on health. But most schools still lack electricity or water – nine in 10 children cannot wash their hands after using the toilet. Education activists warn that Tanzania, where half the population is below 18, still has a long way to go to achieve the MDG in spirit.
  • "Students will be enrolled, but in a few months, because of no shoes or textbooks, they can easily drop out," says Anthony Mwakibinga, its acting co-ordinator. "Boys often drop out for child labour near diamond mines. Girls drop out because of early pregnancy or marriage in some areas."
  • In Tanzania, parents are still expected to contribute to teaching materials, uniforms and even classroom construction. Still, it's not enough. Mwakibinga says he has come across classes of 200 pupils where quality inevitably suffers. "What do you from expect from a classroom of 200 children, even if the teacher works like a donkey? What if the 200 children have no books?"
  • The national teacher-pupil ratio has climbed from 1:41 in 2000 to 1:51 today. New teacher training colleges, including some in the private sector, have opened in a bid to meet the demand, but some trainees are allegedly rushed through in three or four months. The profession also suffers from low public esteem.
  • One teacher, Florence Katabazi, 37, says: "I chose teaching and to this day people think I'm a failure. People say, 'I want my son to be a doctor or lawyer, not a teacher,' It's shameful to be a teacher. Everyone runs away from the profession. If they want to be an accountant, they just use teaching as a bridge. At the end of the day we've got 10,000 half-baked teachers and only 400 good ones."
  • Struggling to maintain classroom discipline, some of the country's 160,000 primary school teachers resort to corporal punishment. Noel Ihebuzor, Unicef's chief of basic education and life skills, says: "They see it as controlling children and don't feel they are doing anything wrong. They were brought up that way. We've had stories where parents take children to the head and say, 'He's stubborn, cane him for me.'"
  • "Another problem is the provision of decent training services to teachers. The ministry has tried to develop a management strategy this year but it has not been implemented because of scarce resources. It's good to have a target, but a target without resources is a problem."
  • the pass rate for the primary school leaving exam is just 49.4%.
  • One teacher has a class of 166, with some pupils forced to lie on the bare concrete floor during lessons. They keep up spirits in the dusty, tree-lined central courtyard by playing steel instruments on the bandstand. In headteacher Abdallah Mgomi's office, a typed sheet of paper on the wall reminds anyone who reads it: "Quality is never an accident."
Teachers Without Borders

allAfrica.com: Rwanda: Free Basic Education Increases Enrolment - 1 views

  • Kigali — Early last year, the government introduced the 9-Year Basic Education (9 YBE) programme, which offers six years of primary education and three years of secondary education to all Rwandan children free of charge.

    The idea was to have school-going children unable to access education in the past to do so, and be able to compete in the job market regionally. The Ministry of Education also hopes that the programme will reduce the dropout rate in schools.

    Information from the Ministry of Education indicates that already, the current enrolment rate stands at 97 percent for boys and 98 percent for girls.

  • According to UNESCO, this is the highest enrolment rate in the region. So far, many countries are implementing free primary education. Few, however, have put in place a programme for post-primary education.
  • Several Headteachers say the programme has gained momentum following a recent schools construction campaign that has seen thousands of new classrooms built across the country. Nearly all the classrooms have been voluntarily built by parents, teachers, university students or government officials. They say the strategy of free education for all is beginning to pay off. The enrolment rate has increased as more children go to school.
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  • The goal is to reduce the teacher-student ratio from 74 to 45 students per teacher. Though headteachers commended the government's effort to equip schools with the basic teaching materials like books, they noted that lack of computers and the insufficient lab materials for practical lessons hamper the success of the programme.
  • Electricity also remains a challenge especially for schools and students in rural areas. This has a great impact on students' performance.
Teachers Without Borders

IRIN Global | GLOBAL: Many more in school but many still out | Asia East Africa Great L... - 0 views

  • Of the 72 million children out of school [down from 115 million in 2006], 39 million live in conflict-affected countries, according to The Future is Now report, published on 11 May by the Save the Children Alliance.
  • In Liberia, 73 percent are out of school, and in Somalia 81 percent have no access to education. In Afghanistan’s Uruzgan, Helmand and Badges provinces, 80 percent are in the same boat. “Without urgent action to help these hardest-to-reach children, Millennium Development Goal Two – that all children get a full course of primary schooling by 2015 – will not be met,” the report warned.
  • In Southern Sudan, only 14 percent of the children attended school during two decades of conflict that ended in 2005, according to the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF. In Angola, at least two million have enrolled in school but 1.2 million are still out, yet only 54 percent complete primary school. Similarly in Iraq, 22 percent of school-going age children failed to attend school in 2007. A study by the education ministry and UNICEF, found that 77 percent of these were female.
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