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How to Achieve Learning for All in Africa?

Education has the power to transform lives and improve the development prospects of countries.  There is no doubt that the best way to ensure more opportunity and less poverty is to educate children with the right skills for both workplaces as well as community life.

This year at the UN general Assembly, world leaders gathered to discuss the progress on the Millennium Development Goals  - with the 2015 deadline fast approaching, the focus was on both achieving these goals, especially in poor, fragile and conflict affected countries.

But not one of these countries has achieved a single MDG and about half of these countries lie in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Elizabeth King, Director of Education at The World Bank and Ritva Reinikka, Director of Human Development for the Africa Region of The World Bank discuss how to achieve Learning for all in Africa. They believe that for schooling to truly make a difference in the lives of young people and their communities, education systems should put learning first for all students - including those who are most disadvantaged.

Click here to read the full piece in the Opinions Section of This is Africa: A Global Perspective.


Submitted by Wasil on
Educating today's children with the right skills for the workplace and community life is the ultimate passport to adult lives of more opportunity and less poverty. The power of education to transform people's lives and improve the development prospects of their countries will be front and center of talks with world leaders when they gather for this year's UN General Assembly to discuss progress on the Millennium Development Goal. ................................................................. Animation Notes

Submitted by Nachiket Mor on
Dear Dr. King, The issue of quality remains a central one in the provision of education even in India. Rural school teachers in India are amongst the highest paid workers and enjoy a very high social status. This has led to the very positive outcome of the best-of-the-best young people applying for these jobs. School infrastructure within government schools has also seen a great deal of improvement. If despite all this we are not getting good outcomes from our school systems, in my view it is on account of a failure to build comprehensive school performance management systems. The key reason for this, to my mind, is that an education bureaucracy that is led by teachers has resisted all attempts to bring in tools such as independent and regular testing of children right from grade 1 onwards. And, given the political importance of teachers in the local context and that of teachers unions at the State level, politicians have shied away from forcing this issue. I would even argue that in the absence of this basic and reliable outcome indicator the very right of the child to receive a good education that is sought to be guaranteed under the Right to Education Act is being denied to her because her guardians can no longer tell what her level of learning is. I would be eager to hear your view on this perspective of mine and what you feel could be done about this. It seems like we have reached an impasse and that there is no way out. The unfortunate parent instead of moving to hold the teacher and the school system accountable is choosing to opt out of the government system by enrolling their wards into some very low quality private schools. The infrastructure focussed strictures of the RTE appear to be closing that door to the parent as well and could perhaps have the unintended consequence of even higher levels of drop outs from the school system and even lower levels of learning. Sincerely, Nachiket Mor

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