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Pan-African Knowledge Hub: INEE | Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies - 0 views

    The joint INEE-GIZ Pan-African Knowledge Hub, established in March 2012, focuses on international funding for education. The Knowledge Hub is part of the "German BACKUP Initiative -- Education in Africa" (or BACKUP Education), a programme of GIZ ("Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH"), and is implemented by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).

    The Knowledge Hub is based out of Nairobi, Kenya, with coverage of the entire Africa region. It is managed by a Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator who are part of the INEE Secretariat.
Teachers Without Borders

An update on the use of e-readers in Africa | A World Bank Blog on ICT use in Education - 0 views

  • One result is that they deliberately decided to complement the delivery of the devices with extensive engagement with local stakeholder groups, did a lot of capacity building with teachers and trainers, and tried to help align what they were doing with what was happening in the formal education system.
  • hat said, there are very real concerns in some quarters that e-book initiatives from the 'West', however well-intentioned, are potentially an important tool contributing to a subtle form of, for lack of a better term, cultural imperialism. Worldreader is apparently working on a platform for African authors and publishers to be able to distribute their works electronically, so that it will be easier for students to read books from local authors, consistent with the learning goals of local school systems.  While not downplaying the difficulties of getting large educational publishers to make their content available digitally for use by students in Africa, this desire to help promote digital marketplaces for African reading materials is perhaps the most ambitious aspect to the Worldreader initiative.
  • When they went back and asked, "what if content was digitized and made available at $1/book?", many people suddenly got very interested. 
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  • A number of research efforts of various sorts are underway trying to help provide some tentative answers to this important question, based on Worldreader pilots.  Most notable has been the iRead pilot in Ghana (here's an executive summary of the first independent evaluation commissioned by USAID [pdf]), which used a set of pre- and post- literacy tests to three groups
  • Worldreader is encouraged by the results it is seeing so far -- the biggest effects are being seen around grades 4-5, a result that many of the literacy experts attending the Worldreader presentation did not find surprising, for a variety of reasons -- but they are not yet seeing the types of 'blockbuster results' it is hoping.
  • Worldreader does appear serious and diligent in its approach, however, and so I look forward to receiving updates on the research output that I expect will emerge over time, which it plans to make available on part of its web site dedicated to "learnings". (Parenthetical note: Preliminary results from the World Bank's e-book pilot in Nigeria are expected later this year; background here, here, and here.)
  • The first challenge in this regard is (as always) money. Here Worldreader is now starting to confront a phenomenon known to many who have worked in the ICT4D area for awhile.  Finding funding support for small pilot projects, while not always easy, can be done. Large national educational technology projects are being funded in various countries around the world.  But what about the in-between level, where you do things at a much larger scale so that you can learn about how best to scale when you do things at a really big, national level?  Few funders seem able to provide support at this level.  As a result, one approach being explored is a franchising model, combining both donor and local partner funding, and a prototype 'Worldreader-in-a-Box' solution for local implementing groups is being rolled out and tested.
  • The first stage of Worldreader activities in introducing e-books and e-readers into a few small communities in Africa has convinced the organization and its backers that what it is doing is worth doing.  We no longer need to convince ourselves "if" we should be doing this, they say.  Now the question is, "how?" 
Teachers Without Borders

BBC News - South Africa education crisis fuels state school exodus - 0 views

  • South Africa's education and finance ministers are being taken to court over poor standards at state schools. The BBC's Karen Allen investigates the education crisis and why some parents in Eastern Cape province are opting to send their children to private schools despite the cost.

    "We are not a flashy family - I'm just an ordinary kid," says Simanye Zondani, 17, as he pores over his maths homework in the subdued light of his home.

    Since his parents died, his aunt has given up her smart "bachelorette" flat in Queenstown and opted instead for a house in the township.

    Start Quote

    We used to have good results, but we are short of maths teachers [and] science teachers”

    End Quote Khumzi Madikane Head teacher at Nonkqubela Secondary

    It means she can now just about afford the £700 ($1,100) to send her nephew to private school.

    Five thousand children, most of them from black families on modest incomes, are switching to independent schools annually.

    The quality varies, but in Gauteng province alone, South Africa's economic hub, more than 100 new schools have applied for registration in the past year.

    It is a response to a sense of failure in the state sector, argues Peter Bosman, the principal of Getahead High School, the low-cost private school which Simanye attends.

    "Parents want consistency and quality," he says - not with a sense of schadenfreude but resignation.

  • The irony is that significant numbers of parents who send their children to private schools are themselves teachers in the state sector.
  • "We used to have good results, but we are short of maths teachers, science teachers and when staff look at our facilities they decide not to come here," head teacher Khumzi Madikane laments.
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  • Education in the Eastern Cape is in crisis, and the central government has taken over the running of the department after allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
  • But the Eastern Cape is not alone. The growth of low-cost primary schools, in response to a lack of faith in the state sector, is a trend that is spreading across the country. The independent sector has grown by 75% in the past decade.

  • In a recent speech, Basic Education Minister Angie Motsheka revealed that 1,700 schools are still without a water supply and 15,000 schools are without libraries.
  • "We have research from various communities, and increasingly from government, saying that in many places, teachers are not in school on Mondays or Fridays, that many teachers have other jobs simultaneously and the actual amount of teaching going on in the classrooms is a fraction of what it should be," she says.
  • But more than 17 years after the end of white minority rule, observers argue that South Africa is struggling with more recent phenomena: Poor teacher training, corruption and maladministration, a highly unionised teaching profession and low morale.
Teachers Without Borders

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.
    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

    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

UNICEF - At a glance: Niger - Food shortages force children to drop out of school in Niger - 0 views

  • NIAMEY, Niger, 6 February 2012 – The effect of food insecurity on children’s health is obvious; children, particularly those under age 5, are vulnerable to life-threatening malnutrition.

    Less obvious is the devastating impact of the crisis on children’s education. When there is not enough to eat, school can quickly become an afterthought.

    This is the scenario now facing countless families in the Sahel region of Africa, where a food crisis is looming. Particularly at risk are children in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad and localized areas of Senegal.

  • “We have never had so little food,” said Oumou. “Of course, I want to continue going to school, but sometimes I am so hungry and low on energy that I cannot even see the blackboard.”
  • “Last year was okay, but not this year,” Souleye said. “I eat at school during the day, but it is not enough. Sometimes, I cannot sleep at night because of stomach cramps.”
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  • In Niger, 66 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line and educational indicators are already among the lowest in the world. Given these conditions, the importance of keeping children in school cannot be overstated.
Teachers Without Borders

Broken schools breed S.Africa's 'lost generation' - TrustLaw - 0 views

  • Despite pouring billions of dollars into education, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has little to show for its money except for public primary schools regarded as among the worst in the world and millions of students destined for a life in the underclass.

    "If you don't have an education, you don't have a chance in life," said Netshiozwe, who is unemployed with little prospect of finding regular work. She and her HIV-infected aunt live together and scrape by on about $100 a month in welfare benefits.

    Nearly half of South Africa's 18 to 24 year olds -- the first generation educated after apartheid ended in 1994 -- are not in the education system and do not have a job, according to government data.

    Academics have called this group the "lost generation" and worry it will grow larger unless the government fixes a system riddled with failing schools, unskilled educators and corruption that stops funding from reaching its intended destinations.

  • Corruption eats away at money. Teachers are poorly trained and challenged by a constantly shifting curriculum. Schools are often shut by teachers' strikes.
  • Once almost exclusively white, universities now reflect the racial composition of the country with more people from groups disenfranchised by apartheid climbing the ladder with a degree or diploma.

    But at the same time, the number of people living in poverty has changed little since apartheid ended, with no remedy in sight given the structural problems in education.

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  • This month, the central government said Limpopo, which has recorded some of the country's worst results in standardised testing, had unauthorised expenditure of 2.2 billion rand ($275 million). The province had more than 2,400 teachers on the payroll, including 200 "ghost teachers" who were not in classrooms but were still paid.
  • Hundreds of schools do not have electricity or running water and absenteeism has become such a concern that President Jacob Zuma has begged teachers to show up for classes.

    A study by graft watchdog Transparency International last year pointed to massive local level corruption resulting in millions of students not having desks, chairs or books.

  • A cosy relationship between the ANC and organised labour, formed in their partnership against apartheid, has hampered apprenticeship programmes.
Teachers Without Borders

IRIN Africa | ETHIOPIA: Drought, floods hit education | Ethiopia | Children | Education... - 0 views

  • ADDIS ABABA, 18 January 2012 (IRIN) - Parts of Ethiopia are still reeling from the effects of recent drought, flooding, conflict or a combination of the three, resulting in increased numbers of children dropping out of school, say officials.

    At least 385,000 school-children need "emergency education assistance this school year", Alexandra Westerbeek, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) communication manager in Ethiopia, told IRIN.

    "In addition, 70,000 children among [the] refugee population also need emergency education assistance." 
Teachers Without Borders

Global development voices: Africa's teachers | Global development | - 0 views

    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

IRIN Africa | DRC: Millions miss out on basic education | DRC | Children | Education - 0 views

  • KINSHASA, 14 November 2011 (IRIN) - Access to basic education in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains poor, with up to seven million children across the vast country out of school - despite a 2010 government decision to make primary education free.
  • It said 25 percent of the primary school-aged children and 60 percent of adolescents were not enrolled in classes.
  • "Even with the announcement of free primary education, parents, many of whom are unemployed and have little means of sustaining themselves, are bearing most of the costs involved in educating their children because of delays in releasing the funds for free education," Ornelie Lelo, communications officer for an education NGO in the capital, SOS Kinshasa, told IRIN.
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  • Education officials have expressed concern over the severe shortage of teachers in public schools. In primary school, the national average is one teacher for 37 pupils, according to the national statistics, but in marginalized or rural areas, there can be more than 100 pupils per class.
  • "Many of the public schools in existence are in deplorable conditions; no blackboards in many of them; in some, children sit on the floor due to lack of desks, and the most worrying concern is encroachment on school land by individuals, many of whom are connected politically," Lelo said. "One can find a pharmacy, restaurant or even bar right in the middle of a school compound - it looks like all open spaces in schools are up for grabs.
  • Tshimbalanga said the average monthly salary for a primary school teacher was $35-40 and since the teachers' salaries are often several months in arrears, parents were forced to chip in.

    "Generally, teachers, like other Congolese workers, survive on very little, some even less than $1 a day, yet the cost of education is borne by parents, sometimes even up to 65 percent of the total cost," Tshimbalanga said. "In rural areas, some teachers supplement their earnings by working as casual labourers on farms; those in urban areas end up begging for money from their pupils' parents just to survive."

    To improve the quality of education, Tshimbalanga said, the government had to pay teachers properly. He said the teachers’ union entered into an agreement in 2004 with the government for teachers to be paid a minimum of $208 monthly but six years later, this has not been implemented.
Teachers Without Borders

UNGEI - News and Events - A primary school becomes a model for increasing girls' enrolment - 0 views

  • WESTERN EQUATORIA, South Sudan, 27 October 2011 – Access to education is one of the key priorities for the government of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan. Seventy per cent of children aged 6 to 17 have never set foot in a classroom. The completion rate in primary schools is only 21 per cent, one of the lowest in the world.
  • Baya Primary School in Western Equatoria has become the envy of other schools in the state. The school is successfully using its own child clubs, not only to increase girls’ enrolment but also encourage dropouts to join the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP).
  • UNICEF and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction have been providing supplies such as school bags, notebooks, training, learning and essential teaching materials to support the initiative in South Sudan.
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  • In 2007, UNICEF initiated the Girls’ Education Movement (GEM) throughout Southern Sudan.

    The Baya Primary School GEM club has been since 2008. Chaired by a dynamic 13-year-old, Tabitha Morris, it has 50 members who organize various activities using the ‘edutainment’ approach – with skits, dramas, rallies, dance and visits to the community.

  • All children in South Sudan have the right to education. And the child-to-child approach taken by GEM clubs offers one good alternative for helping girls get an education.
Teachers Without Borders

Countries struggling to meet rising demand for secondary education - UN - 0 views

  • 25 October 2011 –
    The global demand for secondary education has risen exponentially, says a new United Nations report, which adds that governments, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are having a hard time keeping up and many children are being left out.

    The 2011 Global Education Digest, released today by the Institute for Statistics of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), says there are only enough seats for 36 per cent of children who want to enrol in secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • “There can be no escape from poverty without a vast expansion of secondary education,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “This is a minimum entitlement for equipping youth with the knowledge and skills they need to secure decent livelihoods in today’s globalized world.”
  • Yet, the agency adds, a child in the last grade of primary school only has at best a 75 per cent chance of making the transition to lower secondary school in about 20 countries, the majority of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. The region also has a shortage of secondary school teachers.
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  • “Nevertheless, more than 21.6 million children of lower secondary school age remain excluded from education across the region and many will never even spend a day in school,” states UNESCO.

    Girls are the first to suffer from this inequality, the report says. In sub-Saharan Africa, the enrolment ratio for girls in lower secondary education is 39 per cent compared to 48 per cent for boys.

    Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in which the gender disparities against girls are getting worse at the upper secondary level, with 8 million boys enrolled compared to only 6 million girls, according to the report.

  • “All of these data underscore a central message: secondary education is the next great challenge,” states Hendrik van der Pol, Director of UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics.

    “According to the Digest, about one third of the world’s children live in countries where lower secondary education is formally considered to be compulsory but the laws are not respected. We need to translate the commitment into reality.”

Teachers Without Borders

Mozambique Government to Hire Over 7,000 Teachers Next Year | ACTSA Newsroom - 0 views

  • The Mozambican government plans to hire 7,300 teachers next year, with most being employed to work in primary schools, particularly in the most populated provinces such as Nampula and Zambezia.Cited in the daily newspaper “Noticias”, Maria Celeste Onions, head of human resources at the Ministry of Education, explained that this figure is based on the sector’s Strategic Plan indicators, and seeks to bring down the pupil/teacher ratio.
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