SA to host policy dialogue to develop secondary education in Africa

South Africa will next week host the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) high level policy dialogue forum on secondary education in Africa.

The first-ever policy dialogue forum in Africa, hosted by ADEA and the South Africa’s Ministry of Basic Education in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, will be an opportunity to review and discuss the findings and recommendations of the Mastercard Foundation report, Secondary Education in Africa: Preparing Youth for the Future of Work.

The forum will be held at Emperors Palace Hotel in Gauteng from 29 to 30 July 2019, and will bring together ministers responsible for education, youth and labour from across the African continent.

It will also bring together academics, policy-makers, high-level representatives from development cooperation partners, the private sector, civil society, teachers and parents associations, youth organisations and media.

The key event will provide all the participants with an opportunity to reflect on design and implement innovative models required in secondary education in Africa to better equip teachers and prepare students for the future of work.

Key themes will include fostering relevant knowledge and skills, financing for equity, teacher motivation, teaching and learning, and digital secondary education for 21st century skills, amongst others.

ADEA Executive Secretary Albert Nsengiyumva said over the next few decades, young Africans will play a critical role in the social and economic development of the continent.

Nsengiyumva noted that Africa is currently the youngest continent in the world and will continue to be for the next several decades.

“By 2100, almost half of the world’s young people will be African. The continent’s efforts to educate its youth will have vast implications for its economic development, stability and prosperity.

“Africa can seize the opportunity offered by the demographic shift by investing in human capital development, particularly at the secondary education level in which youth gain the skills and knowledge needed to be productive citizens,” Nsengiyumva said.

ADEA will organise a policy dialogue forum annually to bring together key stakeholders to showcase, share and discuss comprehensive and innovative education, and training models and programs that aim at developing the leadership, skills and equipping the youth with the necessary knowledge, tools and know-how for employability or job creation.

“We all need to look at how to move from research to implementation, shape policy change in secondary education and embed the findings and recommendations in country level priorities and practices.”

South Africa’s Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, said the current debates on the continent were influenced by the need to tackle Africa’s glaring inequalities and the legacy of colonialism.

“In his inaugural 2018 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised the need to harness technological change to advance radical socio-economic transformation.

“The schooling system needs to make optimal use of emerging technologies to strengthen teaching and learning, but also needs to consider how learners can be better prepared for technological change in society, and to help bring about radical socio-economic transformation,” Motshekga said.

Director of Regional Programs at Mastercard Foundation, Kimberley Kerr, said that secondary education is and will continue to be an important platform for young people to secure or create their own work.

“We look forward to a productive dialogue on how we can all ensure young people are prepared for the future,” Kerr said.