Curriculum reform, assessment and national qualifications frameworks: background paper on secondary education in Africa

Author(s): Fleisch, Brahm; Gultig, John; Allais, Stephanie; Maringe, Felix

Organisation(s): Mastercard Foundation

Date: 2019

Pages: 94 p.

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This background paper was prepared for the Mastercard Foundation report, Secondary Education in Africa: Preparing Youth for the Future of Work. The paper engages with issues of secondary education reform in sub-Saharan Africa since 2007 and uses the MasterCard framework of questions as a template for gathering evidence. The framework seeks answers in three broad areas of reform: curriculum, assessment/examination systems and national qualifications frameworks (NQFs). Two system case studies were selected for close analysis: South Africa and Ethiopia. South Africa was selected because of its experience of three separate waves of curriculum reform in the past two decades, the extensive documentation of these curriculum reforms and as one of the first systems in the world to have introduced a national qualifications framework. Ethiopia was selected as it represents a rapidly developing country in which secondary education is likely to play a key role. It was also selected because of its recent review of its secondary education curriculum and examination system.

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