Education in Africa: placing equity at the heart of policy; continental report

Organisation(s): UNESCO Office Dakar and Regional Bureau for Education in Africa; African Union

Publisher(s): UNESCO; UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa; African Union Commission

Date: 2023

Pages: 256 p.


Learning to read and write, and do simple maths, is a basic requirement to be able to navigate in today’s increasingly globalized and competitive world. Providing children with quality education opens the door for them to a lifetime of better opportunities. These translate not only in terms of the jobs that they will be able to have and how much they will earn, but it also has an impact on their physical and mental health. Although many countries in Africa are taking significant steps to ensure quality education for all, too many children are still being left behind. One in five primary school age children are not in the classroom. And almost six in ten adolescents are out of school. This is due to several interlinking factors such as geographical location, gender, extreme poverty, disability, crises, conflict, and displacement. In this comprehensive new analysis, UNESCO explores how these factors impact a child’s access to quality learning. It highlights the importance of addressing barriers to inclusion through actions such as making secondary education compulsory, building more schools, developing adapted curricula, improving the quality of teachers, and providing financial and academic assistance to children. The report aims to provide African governments with guidelines and advice as they try to overcome these challenges.

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