Thursday, July 06, 2006

Education reform in Africa

(Source Article: African nations reform education systems - World Bank)

Lately, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have shown real improvement in the numbers of children being sent to school and the quality of education provided them. However, despite such progress, the countries still require help from developed nations to satisfy the MDG (Millenium Development Goal) of universal education by 2015, reports the World Bank.

Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced a 95% enrollment rate, up from a previous 83%, resulting in 17 million total students in school, reports Desmond Bermingham, head of the global compact on education, also known as FTI (Fast Track Initiative). However, a discouraging 56% of those students complete their primary education. The US currently supports efforts to improve education in the region via President Bush’s Africa Education Initiative (AEI), a US$ 600 million initiative that focuses on providing scholarships, textbooks, and teacher training. (see Africa Education Initiative -

Of the 100 million children world-wide who are not in school, nearly half (44 million) reside in Sub-Saharan Africa. Clearly, efforts to increase education should find a focal point in the region. Experts suggest that wealthy nations need to donate an estimated $490 million more to fill the gap in funding for 2006, with an annual increase of $5 billion contributed by the G8 wealthy nations before 2015 in order for the MDG to be satisfied. (see Education in Africa-Delivering the G8 promise –

Education plays an important role in reducing poverty, AIDs and other diseases, and promoting economic growth. As such, the G8 have made it a priority: the UK announced earlier this year that it would provide an extra $15 billion over 10 years to education; the EU, $76 million to the FTI, and Russia an additional $7 million, also to the FTI. However, the FTI needs some $10 billion annually to reach the MDG of getting 100 million children into school by 2015. More, and continuing, donations are needed.

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