One of the overarching objectives of UNESCO is to attain quality education for all. To reach this goal the UNESCO education sector provides information about the educational situation in all the countries of the world.
Please find in the following article relevant information collected by the regional UNESCO office in Dakar about the state of the educational system in the countries the Roger Federer Foundation is actually working in. Due to the difficult situation in Zimbabwe no up-to-date data is available, therefore you will find a report done by SACMEQ (Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality) in 2007 about the educational situation in that country.
Globally, 250 million children of primary school age are not learning the basics in reading and mathematics, whether they are in school or not. In sub-Saharan Africa, over half of children are not learning the basics in reading: a quarter of primary school aged children reached grade four but still did not learn the basics, and over a third did not reach grade for.
National policies should address teacher quality. Governments need to get incentives right to retain the best teachers. If teachers lack sustained increases in real pay, this may hinder the development of an environment conducive to teaching and learning. Between 2011 and 2015, sub-Saharan Africa needs to recruit about 225'000 additional teachers per year to achieve universal primary education by 2015. Africa accounts for 57% of the global total need for additional primary school teachers, or 63% if the deadline is extended to 2030.
This paper discuss the proliferation of national intersectoral early childhood development (ECD) policies in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade. It looks specifically at the different ECD policies and institutional arrangements in four countries in East Africa and draw out some cross-country lessons for moving from policy development to implementation.
Even though the paper looks only at one of the Roger Federer Foundation’s focal country – Ethiopia – the findings and recommandations are useful for all countries in sub-saharan Africa. The paper shows that the impact of ECD interventions will be greatest when policies and interventions are multi-sectoral and integrated, providing youg children and their families with holistic programming to ensure that all children have an equal opportuniy to reach their full potential.
In education management, poor governance and the lack of transparency in the management of resources, both represent significant probems. Transparency International found that 85 percent of schools surveyed in seven African countries, had either deficient accounting systems, or none at all.
Between 2007 and 2010 Transparency International looked at the governance in the management of public funds in the primary education system in seven African countries. The report checked on the financial systems, about the information policy of schools, participation of parents in school management and corrupt practices e.g. abusive demands for fees that by law have been abolished, embezzlement of resources and abuse of power by teachers or officials.
How should a national strategy for early childhood development look? The following document - the National Strategic Plan for early childhood development (ECD) of Malawi - gives an inside into how a national strategy should be designed.
Malawi developed the National Strategic Plan for ECD in Malawi (2009 – 2014) to rush implementation of the National Policy on ECD and ensure it is in line with the national development objectives outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). It is a statement of intent underlining what should be done to ensure that Malawian children are given a fair chance to survive, grow, develop and participate.
As the Roger Federer Foundation knows about the importance of a mother tongue based education for young children, it supports its use in all its programmes. To get to know more about this important part of reaching the foundation’s goal of quality education, please read the following article:
Even though the UNESCO has encouraged mother tongue instruction in early childhood and primary education since 1953, the monolingualism in official or dominant languages is still the norm around the world. Research has shown that children, who have the opportunity to learn in their mother tongue, are more likely to enrol and succeed in school. Another important fact is, that parents of those children are more likely to communicate with teachers and participate in their children’s learning. Mother tongue based education especially benefits disadvantaged groups, including children from rural communities and girls achieve better and repeat grades less often when they are taught in their mother tongue.