News / Africa

UN Report Finds Africa Education Goals Stagnating

Street vendor in Juba, South Sudan, selling plastic Christmas trees and inflatable balls made in China. (Photo: UNESCO/Sven Torfinn/Panos)
Street vendor in Juba, South Sudan, selling plastic Christmas trees and inflatable balls made in China. (Photo: UNESCO/Sven Torfinn/Panos)
Gabe Joselow
A new report from the United Nations shows progress toward education goals in Africa is stagnating, leaving many young people deprived of quality schooling and high-paying jobs.   

According to the 2012 Education for All monitoring report, nearly half of the world's children who do not go to school reside in just 12 countries, eight of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

And while the numbers are improving in other parts of the world, the number of out-of-school African children has actually increased in the last couple of years - and is now at 31 million.

The statistics for African school-aged children are part of a troubling trend highlighted in the annual report commissioned by the United Nations education agency UNESCO.



Pauline Rose,  the director of the report, tells VOA that progress in reaching the Education for All goals first set in 2000 has stagnated in recent years, as reaching those in need has become more challenging.

“As we have made improvements in getting more children into school, those who are left behind are those that are hardest to reach," Rose explained.  "So in Kenya, they are the pastoralist children, they are the children who are living in urban slums.  They are those who are less easy for the government to reach through conventional methods.”

Rose says even in conventional schools, the quality of education is often lacking and young people who receive a basic education are still unprepared for the work force.

“There's an insufficient link between what goes on in the education systems and what is needed in the world of work,” noted Rose.

Many young people across Africa end up self-employed, doing odd jobs in the informal sector, earning just enough to survive, but still remaining below the poverty line.

The report notes that in Cameroon, around 40 percent of young people with a secondary education are living in so-called “working poverty.”

Rose says one of the solutions is for African governments to promote education programs that compliment their countries' economic strategies, providing technical training that will give students the skills they need to earn better paying jobs.

Young girls attend Adolescent Girls’ Club in Gudele neighborhood on the outskirts of Juba in the South Sudan. (Photo:UNESCO/BRAC)
Young girls attend Adolescent Girls’ Club in Gudele neighborhood on the outskirts of Juba in the South Sudan. (Photo:UNESCO/BRAC)
She says some countries have already benefited from this approach.

“It's this ambition that is really driving change that we do see in countries like Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa that have already experienced high levels of economic growth and can do so even more if they continue to have a combined strategy of this kind,” Rose said.

Overall, the picture for Africa remains hopeful.

According to the report, the countries that have improved the most on education during the last decade are, in order, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Ghana.

Lesotho and Malawi have also made noticeable strides in the same time period, moving from the low to middle rankings compared to countries around the world.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid