Advocacy group, Human Capital Africa has launched plans to redefine the continent’s education system that would make it accountable and impact-driven for better generation of citizens. The group’s strategy is to support country leaders and policymakers to understand and implement the right actions with available data and checks for actionable result.
Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education in Nigeria speaking at the launch of the project said over 100,000 children are born in Sub-Saharan Africa each day, and unfortunately, every day, we find new ways to let all hundred thousand of them down by denying them the opportunities they need to build the right levels of human capital necessary to thrive in the world today.
She said perhaps the most critical of our failures in building this necessary human capital, is our inability to ensure that all our children receive high-quality education when around ninety thousands of them are currently not able to read a simple sentence by the age of 10 or 11.
“Gaining these foundational skills are critical to progressing in school; to learning other subjects; participating in technical education and eventually, becoming productive members of the workforce and society” How we can ensure future generations participate in the increasingly digital world, when they cannot do basic mathematics, she asked.
Ezekwesili, who is also former vice president of World Bank Africa Region stated that this is what prompted key persons in Africa who understand the problems to come together to launch Human Capital Africa, an organization founded to ensure we fight this injustice and work together with leaders of the country, policymakers, donors, CSOs and all partners to ensure the right for all children in this region and continent are protected.
With this, we can get country leaders to care, respond and act, and we plan to do this by using data and evidence. Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi who spoke at the launch said high-quality education remains one of the most basic rights of all children across the world, and it is shocking how we have continuously denied our children this right
She said with the shocking statistics about the education gap in Africa at the foundation level, which does not give children particularly the girl child the opportunity to get quality education, it’s obvious we’re not giving these generations a chance at becoming more productive members of the workforce, a chance at a better life.
“This is why I’m honoured to be a part of this journey to transform learning outcomes at the foundational level for all children in Africa.” Banda, therefore, urged policymakers to stop wasting time, but commit time, resources and effort to improve learning in the classroom. Governments should shift focus towards learning at the foundation level – understand that without it, there is no future learning. Without it, obtaining any other type of education will remain an uphill challenge, Banda advised.