News / Africa

African Educators Discuss Ways to Develop Work Force

Conference of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa looks to improve vocational and technical skills

President of Burkina Faso, Head of State of Niger and Prime Minister of Benin Republic during the head of state round table of the ADEA education conference in Burkina Faso.
President of Burkina Faso, Head of State of Niger and Prime Minister of Benin Republic during the head of state round table of the ADEA education conference in Burkina Faso.
William Eagle

ADEA Executive Secretary Ahlin Byll-Cataria said there’s a missing link between education and employment in Africa. He said students finish primary school without job skills and college graduates have diplomas, but no opportunities for work.

The answer, he said, is to make Africa’s education and training systems more flexible, and capable of encouraging life-long learning. He adds they also need to emphasize improving vocational and technical training for those who do not continue to secondary school.

These and other ideas have been researched and analyzed by ADEA sponsored groups. Delegates at this week’s Triennial, or three-year meeting, will discuss their findings. The goal is to come up with ideas for creating improved educational and training systems that will promote for economic growth.

Byll-Cataria said that means creating curricula that fit the needs of local business and potential investors.

He said this is already happening in some member countries of ADEA:

"[In Tunisia], he said, "there is now more cooperation between the job market, different companies and the training schools. For example, where they have to train engineers, there is a lot of discussion between schools and the companies in order to [learn] the demands of the company, to take them into account in the curricula and even in the management of the schools. That’s what exactly we want to promote during this Triennial [meeting]."

Likewise, he said, in Mali, an association of artisans is working to improve the skills of mechanics, carpenters and tradesmen needed by local companies. The association has also helped workers and companies to win government contracts.

Also in West Africa, several nations are working together to develop a network of trade and vocational schools based in part on a successful model developed by Nigeria.

Improved Standards

Byll-Cataria said educators are working to integrate government-run, or formal, school systems with other groups that are helping to educate students.  Among them are NGO’s, community literacy centers, and faith-based groups, including Islamic schools that are expanding their curricula.

Over 600 representatives from government, business, labor, youth and non-governmental organizations were expected to attend the ADEA conference.
Over 600 representatives from government, business, labor, youth and non-governmental organizations were expected to attend the ADEA conference.

Byll-Cataria said the goal is to ensure quality and standards so students educated by the groups are ready to enter the formal school system if they wish.

"You have a lot of madrassa teachers willing to modernize it, to add access to basic education, learn to read and write, and learn science," he said. "If we consider that you have a lot of children in the Sahellian countries whose first experience with education is through madrasas, then it’s very important we help them improve the quality of their teaching and extend their teaching from the Koran to other disciplines."

Education for Peace

Delegates meeting in Burkina Faso will also look at the success of peace education. It’s part of a curriculum developed by Kenya. It focuses on peace-building as does an ADEA group including nearly a dozen post-conflict nations, including Rwanda, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

"How did Kenya become the leader?," asks Byll-Cataria.  "Recently after trouble Kenya had after elections [late 2007], the Ministry of Education wanted to keep schools out of violence, so they created a program and approach to make sure children who are going to school remain there and are not involved in violence. In 2009, they had a conference with 11 post conflict countries to share their experience."

He said he expects other countries to  join the group.

"By attending the Triennial," he said, "South Sudan could benefit from our analytical work on early childhood development, literacy, non-formal education, books and learning materials, and higher education. We have nine working groups who tackle the issues related to education and training in Africa.  I’m sure the delegation of South Sudan could benefit from that."

Overseas support

Delegates to the ADEA conference will also look abroad for help in modernizing African education systems.

Byll-Cataria said the meeting has invited officials from the Republic of Korea to address the delegates:

"We know in 1945, Korea was a very poor country, colonized and occupied with nearly 70 percent illiterate and people were hungry," he said. "But Korea invested in education, training and research and is today among the 10 largest economies in world."

Over 90 percent of all school-aged children in Ghana attend primary school.
Over 90 percent of all school-aged children in Ghana attend primary school.

He says Korean academics and officials will share lessons on how they mastered core skills for primary and early childhood education, as well as technical and vocational skills for older workers.

ADEA is also drawing upon the skills of Africa’s diaspora  through modern technology.

"Someone from Burkina Faso but living in the US who wants to contribute to the development of the country can do it and stay in Washington but using new technology," said Byll-Cataria.  "A professor could be teaching in Ouagadougou by videoconference or a medical doctor could partner with a medical doctor in Burkina Faso in telemedicine."

ADEA describes itself as a policy forum made up of 43 African ministers of education and nearly two dozen development organizations. It works to improve the quality and effectiveness of education through the sharing of ideas and experiences.

Development specialists say success in the global economy depends on a flexible knowledge and skills base. They say this, when added to the Africa’s natural resources and high numbers of young people, could make African economies among the world’s most dynamic and productive.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid