Browsing: Education

TaRL is a unique intervention for accelerated learning that supports children who would have otherwise been left behind to learn and thrive. Pioneered by Pratham, an Indian NGO, the approach that has now been piloted in several African countries, including Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zambia, has revealed that learning outcomes improved with three months of accelerated learning focused on foundational skills through the support of TaRL Africa.  

TaRL evaluates children using a simple assessment tool and then groups them according to learning level rather than age or grade. Each group is taught using appropriate fun/play activities and materials, starting from what the child already knows. In Nigeria, for instance, the percentage of children who could read a simple English word increased by 30 percentage points after only 114 hours (on average) of participating in a TaRL pilot. 

Schools can ensure that children are never too far behind by targeting teaching to what learners already know. TaRL has provided evidence that by relieving the constraint of poorly targeted instruction, children’s learning can improve significantly.  

The National Association of School Governing Bodies’ general secretary, Matakanye Matakanye, told SowetanLIVE during an interview that many teachers were unemployed and the government should prioritize them over foreign teachers.

Matakanye also accused the government of failing to create a strong local capacity for specialist teachers.

“There are lots and lots of university graduates who are not working and we don’t get the department’s logic of taking people from outside our country when our people are not working. If this was happening five or 10 years after democracy, it would be understandable. It is unacceptable that the department of basic education is still getting educators from Cuba and Zimbabwe after 26 years of democracy,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the Rwanda Education Board (REB), Rwanda is set to receive close to 500 Zimbabwean teachers by September this year. The teachers will be placed in polytechnics and higher learning institutions.

Due to the pandemic, the topic of innovation in education has never been more crucial. 

While most developed countries moved their classes online with ease, many developing countries have had a hard time adapting to the home-school model due to a lack of infrastructure and the high cost of data.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 91.3% of the world’s learning population was impacted by global shutdowns brought about by the pandemic.  

This means that about 1.5 billion students were not in school, a situation that largely impacted developing nations, a lot of which are in Africa. 

After a decade the Government launched the Presidential e-Learning Programme of 2011 which aimed to strengthen the use of ICTs for teaching and learning. In an article published by the Herald on March 28, 2012, former President Mugabe said the projects brought on board e-learning software solutions to complement the benefits of the Presidential Computerisation Programme launched 10 years back.

“Encouraged by the Presidential Computerization Programme, the first successful step of transforming Zimbabwe into an information society, we have now decided to go a gear up and add value to the initial programme by introducing a new dimension to it, this time, in the form of an e-learning Programme,” he said.

The Connect a School Connect a Community Project was launched in 2013, it provided disadvantaged schools with modern technology. Afterwards, Zimbabwe drafted through the Ministry of ICT, Postal, and Courier Services a National ICT Policy that acknowledges a role for ICTs in the education sector. However, while the policy is dated 2016, it was launched in 2018. In 2019 ICT Policy for Primary and Secondary Education (2019–2023) was launched and all of these show efforts by the Government to embrace technology in the education sector.

AKF has a very deep-rooted history of funding education initiatives in Africa. This effort is one of many funding partnerships that give life to education programs in the region and eliminate illiteracy within communities.

Gone are the days of education being an overlooked sector. Over the past decade, funding for education has assumed a critical shape.

Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has been investing in education in Africa for several decades, from the early stages of learning to the university level.

AKDN has contributed to enhancing education systems in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya with the support of partners—the network has reached 1,300 public schools, trained 6,00 teachers, and reached 500,000 students.