ANIE Network | Africa: A Quality Education Must Involve More than Teaching to the Test
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Africa: A Quality Education Must Involve More than Teaching to the Test

The World Bank just released the World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Educations Promise. In this report, it warns of a “learning crisis” in global education. According to this report, millions of young students from developing countries face the prospect of lost opportunity and lower wages in life because of the quality of education they are getting in primary and secondary schools is poor. The report further warns that schooling without learning is both a wasted development opportunity and a great injustice to young people around the world.

As I pondered on the points made on this report, I found myself reflecting on what a good education has done for me despite the obstacles I faced to become the first person in my Kenyan village to obtain a PhD.  A good education has empowered me. It has allowed me to pursue a science career. It has opened new horizons and has raised my pride and confidence. It has liberated me and has allowed me to reach for many stars.

This recently released report made me think more deeply about quality education. What is it? What barometer can we use to gauge the quality of education of our younger generations?

Education is the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4. By their standards, quality education is one that enables all students to reach their full potential, and it prepares students for meaningful participation in our global world and not just for exams.

Currently there is a clear geographic divide when it comes to quality education. According to Pearson’s report, nations from East Asia outperform other countries, including USA, in offering quality education. South Korea is ranked as number 1. Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong are ranked second, third and fourth respectively. A common theme among these countries is that they reward students’ hard work and efforts, have clear goals and learning outcomes, and engage a broader community of stakeholders. Continue reading

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