Transitions from primary to lower secondary school: a focus on equity; background paper

Author(s): Sefa-Nyarko, Clement; Kyei, Pearl; Mwambari, David

Organisation(s): Mastercard Foundation; Participatory Development Associates

Date: 2018

Pages: 67 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 explores the dynamics that affect transitions from primary to lower secondary school, with a focus on equity. Whilst case studies have been drawn from Ghana and Rwanda to assess their strengths and weaknesses to educational reforms, emphasis is on transitions from primary to lower secondary schools in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. The paper is in two main sections: review of factors affecting transitions in sub-Saharan Africa, and case study analyses for Ghana and Rwanda with the following themes guiding the discussions: 1) Access to education, progression and completion rates in primary and secondary schools; 2) Trends and realities in secondary education: equity in progression and transitions – from primary to lower secondary and upper secondary schools and equal opportunities for children with disabilities, members of religious and ethnic minorities and other forms or multiple cases of vulnerabilities; 3) Learning outcomes, employability and wellbeing of youth with and without secondary education; 4) Actionable recommendations to policymakers, implementers, donors and other stakeholders on how to improve transitions from primary to lower secondary for the marginalized populations.

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