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Education in Africa 1

Education in Africa
Education in Africa began able a tool to prepare its young to take their place in the African society. The African
education experience was strictly set up to prepare the young for society in the African community and not
necessarily for life outside of Africa. The schooling system pre- European colonialism consisted of groups of older
people teaching aspects and rituals that would help them in adulthood. Education in early African societies such
things as artistic performances, ceremonies, games, festivals, dancing, singing, and drawing. Boys and girls were
taught separately to help prepare each sex for their adult roles. Every member of the community had a hand in
contributing to the educational upbringing of the child. The high point of the African educational experience was the
ritual passage ceremony from childhood to adulthood. There were no academic examinations necessary to graduate
in the African educational system..
When European colonialism and imperialism took place it began to change the African educational system.
Schooling was no longer just about rituals and rites of passage, school would now mean earning an education that
would allow Africans to compete with countries such as the United States and those in Europe. Africa would begin
to try producing their own educated students as other countries had.
However, participation rates in many African countries are low. Schools often lack many basic facilities, and African
universities suffer from overcrowding and staff being lured away to Western countries by higher pay and better

According to [[UNESCO]'s Regional overview on sub-Saharan Africa, in 2000 52% of children were enrolled in
primary schools, the lowest enrollment rate of any region. UNESCO also reported marked gender inequalities: in
most parts of Africa there is much higher enrollment by boys, but in some there are actually more girls, due to sons
having to stay home and tend to the family farm. Africa has more than 40 million children, almost half the
school-age child population, receiving no schooling. Two-thirds of these are girls. The USAID Center reports that as
of 2005, forty percent of school-aged children in Africa do not attend primary school and there are still 46 million
school-aged African children that have never stepped into a classroom.
The regional report produced by the UNESCO-BREDA education sector analyst team in 2005 indicates that less
than 10% of African children are now allowed in the system. However 4 out of 10 children still did not complete
primary school in 2002/2003. So, five years after the World Education Forum and the adoption of the Millennium
Goals, progress at primary level is far from decisive. The analysis highlights that principal efforts should be directed
to reducing the number of dropouts per level. It appears also that geographical disparities (rural areas/urban areas) or
economic disparities (low income households/wealthy households) are more significant and take longer to even out
than gender disparities. From the quality point of view, studies such as SACMEQ (Southern and Eastern Africa
Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality) and household surveys indicate very significant disparities in
performance both between and within countries.[1]
This report also shows that secondary (lower and higher levels) and higher education enrollments have progressed
proportionally more than primary enrollment over the period 1990–2002/2003 which questions the reality of policy
priority given to primary education. The strong pressure for educational continuity from the majority already
benefiting from schooling explains this trend. To this must be added the weakness of mechanisms regulating pupil
flow between the different levels of the education system.
In 2005, the inventory and trends show a definitive risk of not reaching universal primary enrollment by 2015. 14.7%
of the world's population is occupied by Africa.
The education systems inherited from the colonial powers were designed for the formal sector and public
administration. However, ADEA (Association for the Development of Education in Africa) has become aware of the
Education in Africa 2

informal sector's relevance in developing countries, and thus recognized the need for increased vocational school
training as a way to help the informal sector. "Diverse forms of learning" [2]

Initiatives to improve education in Africa include:
• British Airways' "Change for Good in Africa" project which, in collaboration with UNICEF, opened the model
school Kuje Science Primary School in Nigeria in 2002.
• Elias Fund - Provides scholarships to children in Zimbabwe to get a better education.
• Fast Track Initiative [3]
• NEPAD's E-school program, an ambition plan to provide internet and computer facilities to all schools on the
• Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in association with Humanity First, an international charity organisation has built
over 500 schools in the African continent and is running a 'learn a skill' initiative for young men and women.
• Benin Education Fund (BEF) [4] For 10 years BEF has provided scholarships and educational support to students
from the Atakora province in northeastern Benin. Over 450 students have been able to stay in school because of
their programs.
• SACMEQ [5] A consortium of 15 Ministries of Education in Southern and Eastern Africa which undertakes
integrated research and training activities to monitor and evaluate the quality of basic education, and generates
information that can be used by decision-makers to plan and improve the quality of education.
• The African Children's Educational Trust Working through local organizations, The African Children's
Educational Trust is supporting thousands of youngsters with long-term scholarships and a community rural
elementary schools building programme. It has built seven schools to date and is currently raising funds for more.

[1] Ross, Kenneth (2007). http:/ / www. sacmeq. org/ research. htm.
[2] http:/ / www. inwent. org/ ez/ articles/ 170988/ index. en. shtml
[3] http:/ / www. worldbank. org/ education/ efafti/
[4] http:/ / benineducationfund. org/ blog/
[5] http:/ / www. sacmeq. org

External links
• AET Africa | Portal for Agricultural Education and Training in Africa ( - Provides
information on agricultural education in Africa
• PROTA ( - Provides information on the approximately 7,000 useful plants of Tropical
Africa and to provide wide access to the information through Webdatabases, Books, CD-Rom’s and Special
• Africa - Education ( at the Open Directory Project
• Portal for education in Africa (
• Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) (http://www.sacmeq.
• The African Children's Educational Trust (
Article Sources and Contributors 3

Article Sources and Contributors

Education in Africa  Source:  Contributors: 16@r, Bardofcornish, Black Falcon, BozMo, Bsadowski1, Burntsauce, Cappelle, Ched Davis,
DARTH SIDIOUS 2, EamonnPKeane, Erik9, Euzpr, Ezeu, Fukumoto, Gurch, Hemanshu, Hemlock Martinis, HisPowr4U, Hu12, Insanity Incarnate, JamesJohnson, Jwoodger, Kakofonous,
Kamezuki, Kappa, Kblanto, Keepcalmandcarryon, KnowledgeOfSelf, Leonard^Bloom, Luna Santin, Mercury, Michael93555, Orphan Wiki, Peaceworld111, Philip Trueman, Pigman,
PleaseStand, Poledakar, Quirk, Radon210, Robin Hood 1212, Roland Kaufmann, Seaphoto, Sesel, Skapur, Smarienau, Starfisheditor, T L Miles, Thefirechild, Tide rolls, Tspier2, Warofdreams,
Wavelength, Wrathchild, 124 anonymous edits

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