Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa

Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa

Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa

Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa


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While everybody recognizes the development challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa, few have put together coherent plans that offer real hope for any feasible and general improvement. Facing Forward combines an evidence-based plan that not only recognizes the deep problems but provides specific prescriptions for dealing with the problems. In the simplest version, focus on the skills of the people and do it in a rational and achievable manner. †“ Eric Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute, Stanford University This book offers a clear perspective on how to improve learning in basic education in Sub- Saharan Africa, based on extremely rigorous and exhaustive analysis of a large volume of data. The authors shine a light on the low levels of learning and on the contributory factors. They have not hesitated to raise difficult issues, such as the need to implement a consistent policy on the language of instruction, which is essential to ensuring the foundations of learning for all children. Using the framework of “From Science to Service Delivery,†? the book urges policy makers to look at the entire chain from policy design, informed by knowledge adapted to the local context, to implementation. Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa is a unique addition to the literature that is relevant for African policy makers and stakeholders. †“ Professor Hassana Alidou, Ambassador of the Republic of Niger to the United States and Canada As the continent gears itself up to provide universal basic education to all its children by 2030, it has to squarely address the challenge of how to improve learning. Facing Forward helps countries to benchmark themselves against each other and to identify concrete lines of action. It forces policy makers to think “where do I go from here?†? “what do I do differently?†? and to examine the hierarchy of interventions that can boost learning. It rightly urges Ministries of Education to build capacity through learning by doing and continuous adaptation of new knowledge to the local context. Facing Forward will unleash frank conversations about the profound reforms that are required in education policy and service delivery to ensure learning for every child on the continent. †“ Dr. Fred Matiang’I, Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Coordination of National Government, Government of Kenya (former Cabinet Secretary for Education) Facing Forward couldn’t have come at a more opportune time as countries in the region, including Mauritius, focus more on learning outcomes rather than simply on inputs and processes in education systems. The book underscores the important point that African countries need not exclusively model themselves on high-performing education systems in the world. Much can as well be learnt from other countries at the same level of development, or lower, by virtue of the challenges they have faced and successfully overcome. This presents opportunities for greater peer-sharing and networking with these countries. Indeed a number of key focus areas are highlighted in the book that demonstrate good practices worthy of being emulated. These cover domains as diverse as enabling factors leading to improved student progression, strengthened teacher capacity, increased budgetary allocation with a focus on quality, as well as improved technical capacity of implementing agencies in the region. †“ Hon. (Mrs.) Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Republic of Mauritius

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781464812620
Publisher: World Bank Publications
Publication date: 09/17/2018
Series: Africa Development Forum
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 502
File size: 16 MB
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About the Author

The World Bank came into formal existence in 1945 following the international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements. It is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. The organization's activities are focused on education, health, agriculture and rural development, environmental protection, establishing and enforcing regulations, infrastructure development, governance and legal institutions development. The World Bank is made up of two unique development institutions owned by its 185 Member Countries. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries and the International Development Association (IDA), which focuses on the poorest countries in the world.

Table of Contents

Foreword xxv

Acknowledgments xxvii

About the Authors xxix

Executive Summary xxxi

Abbreviations xliii

1 Facing the Facts: Context and Progress 1

Knowledge Capital: The Key to Africa's Future Development 1

Study Framework: From Science to Service Delivery 3

Grouping Countries by Educational Performance 8

Grouping Countries by Economic and Social Challenges 20

Mapping Educational Performance and Challenges 35

Organization of the Book 45

Notes 46

References 47

2 A Focus on Learning 53

Introduction 53

Learning for Development 54

The Knowledge Capital of Sub-Saharan Africa in International Context 58

Equity in the Distribution of Learning in Sub-Saharan Africa 80

Determinants of Learning: Global Evidence 97

Correlates of Learning in Sub-Saharan Africa 110

Effective Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa 123

Summary: Implementing What Works in Africa 131

Notes 134

References 136

3 The Unfinished Agenda for Reaching Universal Basic Education 145

Introduction 145

Early Grades: Building the Foundations of Learning 146

Improving Access and Progression in Basic Education 171

Expanding Lower-Secondary Education with Quality and Relevance 191

Summary 219

Notes 220

References 223

4 Managing Teachers 231

Introduction 231

Africa's Challenges in Teacher Management 233

Sub-Saharan Africa's Teachers 235

Teacher Deployment and Presence in School and at Work 255

Teaching and Learning in the Classroom 268

Teachers' Workplace Conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa's Primary Schools 303

Strategic Priorities for Improving Teacher Management 317

Notes 325

References 333

5 Deploying the Budget to Improve Quality 341

Introduction 341

Overview of Education Financing and Spending in Sub-Saharan Africa 343

Getting Better Value for Money through Public Financial Management Reform 365

Use of Decentralization to Improve the Planning and Execution of Education Resources 379

Using the Budget; Priority Areas for Improving Quality and Equity 391

Notes 399

References 401

6 From Science to Service Delivery: Closing the Capacity Gap 405

Introduction 405

Generating and Using Data for Better Planning and Monitoring 407

Building Technical Capacity to Improve Education Quality 415

Coordination of Institutions to Align Resources and Inputs 418

Accountability and Incentives to Strengthen Performance and Outcomes 420

Consultation and Negotiation with Stakeholders to Build a Consensus 422

Toward an Approach to Capacity Building in Ministries of Education 425

Notes 432

References 432

7 Conclusions and Recommendations 435

Summary and Conclusions 435

Recommendations 439

Notes 441

References 442

8 Coda: Looking Ahead 443

Introduction 443

Changes in Context; Past and Current Challenges 443

Managing Expansion with Quality 448

Notes 453

References 454


1.1 Harmonizing Variations in the Duration of Primary, Lower-Secondary, and Basic Education across Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa 11

1.2 How Can Sub-Saharan African Countries Support Out-of-School Youths? 19

1.3 Jeopardizing Progress: The Impact of Conflict on Human Capital 33

1.4 Kenya: Progress in Both Primary Coverage and Learning, Despite Many Initial Challenges 37

1.5 Togo: Sustained Progress and Expansion in the Wake of Socioeconomic and Political Crisis 39

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