Africa’s potential rests with secondary education

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

African countries have set their sights on reforming secondary education on the content by boosting the teaching profession, embracing innovation and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

This emerged as the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) concluded its High-Level Annual Policy Dialogue on Secondary Education in Africa on Tuesday.

Under the theme ‘Preparing Youth for the Future of Work’, delegates engaged on how to design and transform education systems within secondary education.

The two-day dialogue was in partnership with ADEA, Mastercard Foundation and the Department for Basic Education (DBE).

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the discussions will go a long way towards modernising post-primary opportunities. 

From the dialogue, a report due to be released in early 2020 will focus on the role of secondary education in ensuring youth acquire the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to succeed in the globalized labour market.

Mastercard Foundation Regional Programs Director Kim Kerr said the objective of the report is to initiate a dialogue on the importance of preparing Africa’s youth to succeed in an ever-changing work environment. 

“Digitization, automation and technological advances are changing the nature of work globally, including in Africa.

“Now is the time to rethink what skills young people will require to enter the workforce following secondary education, and to intentionally design secondary education systems with those skills in mind,” said Kerr.

Over the course of the two-day forum, more than 160 participants highlighted the immense opportunity of Africa’s young people alongside the realisation of an ever-changing job market with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

ADEA Executive Secretary Albert Nsengiyumva said secondary education is increasingly becoming the platform for preparing youth for the world of work and hence the need for a paradigm shift in reforming this sub-sector.

“African countries need to reform secondary education starting from attracting strong applicants in the teaching profession, and training and retraining adequate numbers of teachers as well as providing skills for the world of work for young people to increase their adaptability and resilience,” said Nsengiyumva. –