4 Challenges Facing the Education Sector in Africa

Since time immemorial education in Africa continues to face tremendous challenges. Although progress is happening, it’s quite slow-paced. A ton of school-going kids don’t attend school. Similarly, poor policies make education unthinkably expensive in many African countries. According to a recent study from UNESCO, children from 28 out of 43 Sub-Saharan countries could not achieve the most basic university education by 2015. Below are four challenges facing the education sector in Africa.

  1. Relevance of Education

Irrelevant curriculum is one of the most significant challenges making the African education system unfavorable in the global job market. The truth is, most African governments still follow the old education system left by the former colonial powers. This leads to a wastage of resources as it becomes pretty expensive and hard to absorb skills later in life.

The superficial education mostly affects Tanzania, Zambia, and Namibia, according to the African Development Bank. Most able parents in these countries opt to take their children to private institutions which offer a relatively better curriculum. Others prefer flying their kids abroad. This often leaves Africa with fewer professionals. Most of those who go to study abroad bearly return to work in Africa.

  1. Education Financing

The portion of financing going into educational programs matter. Although the World Bank started funding Africa’s education sector since 1975, minimal signs of progress show off the efforts. The rationale for distributing funds in learning institutions encounters a bunch of setbacks. And with the high population of school-going children in Africa, the allocation of funds becomes even more challenging.

Similarly, the use of outdated curriculums makes education expensive and time-consuming at the tertiary level.  It also results in a significant number of students to drop out of school before attaining a university degree. Improper and indecent payment of teachers also makes loads of them venture into alternative professions. This is mainly fueled by corruption and poor policies.

  1. Accessibility of Schools

There have been controversies of how far a learning institution ought to be. Nevertheless, some educational experts argue that the nearness of a school to students immensely affects their performance. While a good number of schools are far from homes in Africa, students spend a lot of time before getting to school. In fact, in Kenya, some primary school pupils have to leave home as early as 4 AM and beat the early morning sharp cold to be in school in a good time.

  1. Weak Learning Systems

Analyzing what works and what doesn’t is crucial in the learning sector. However, evaluating the appropriateness of education systems in Africa is an issue African policymakers tend to ignore. There are close to none consultations between most governments and education stakeholders.

One of the most glaring setbacks in Africa’s education system is overclouded schools and classes. Loads of children seek to enroll in schools every year in Africa than certainly in any other continent in the world. This drastically deteriorates the quality of education. In all too many cases, weak education systems also dwindle the supervision and overseeing of assignments.

In the same way, the lack of adequate teachers, books, and other learning materials results in poor learning experiences for students. Also, there is the glitch of unqualified or partially skilled teachers teaching in some public learning institutions. In most countries in Africa, about 50 % of the students graduating from universities don’t meet the cut in the local job markets.

While all these challenges stand out, we can’t deny the fact that most Africans are making outstanding efforts to better education. However, corruption and lack of sufficient donors remain the biggest problem. As it is, the struggle is still on. African governments need to tighten the rope and devise ways to curb some of the most glaring setbacks like irrelevant curriculum right off. This is the only way Africa will become competitive in the world and will the war against poverty.



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