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Submitted by Aly Mbaye on

Dear Mbaye
Thank you very much for your interest in our blog and for your positive comments. Your point about few children entering vocational schools is right. Statistics show that most secondary schools graduates follow humanities tracks rather than scientific ones. Since in Africa, and more so in francophone Africa, such early specializations determine students’ university hosting departments, many of them end up with humanities and social sciences degrees with too few in science and engineering. The share of vocational training in overall education is negligible because most parents and students maintain the increasingly obsolete hope that very general university training is the ticket to white-collar jobs. So increasing the scope of vocational training is very relevant. Nevertheless, it is likely not to be enough because in African countries as elsewhere, the performance of the economy is critical in determining how many jobs are created regardless of how effective the training system is. Beyond vocational training, African youth need entrepreneurial skills and support to set up their own businesses and not always aspire to positions as civil servants as remains too often the case.