Narrowing Africa’s Education Deficit

Editor’s Note: This chapter is part of the 2013 Foresight Africa full report, which details the top priorities for Africa in the coming year. Read the full report here.

Despite some recent gains, sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a two-pronged education crisis of quality and access.  Thirty million primary school-age children in Africa—one in ev­ery four—are out of school, and a growing number of African students are unable to read a simple sentence or successfully complete basic math.

Kevin Watkins examines this twin deficit in African education and offers policy recom­mendations to African governments.  Watkins also calls for prioritizing education as a top-tier issue, improving teacher training and support, increasing attention to early childhood development, addressing inequalities in educational systems that are marginalizing the poor and girls, and increasing involvement of international donors.