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Group launches accountability tools to resolve learning crisis in Africa

By Adelowo Adebumiti
29 September 2022   |   3:44 am
Human Capital Africa (HCA) has launched accountability tools to tackle the learning crisis across the continent. The group uses evidence to propel the government to take steps that would improve

Human Capital Africa (HCA) has launched accountability tools to tackle the learning crisis across the continent. The group uses evidence to propel the government to take steps that would improve foundational literacy and numeracy outcomes for children in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

The event which was held at the Harvard Club, New York, on the sideline of the United Nations Transforming Education Summit, called attention to the scale of the learning crisis in Africa, where nine out of 10 children are unable to read with understanding at age 10.

According to the body, the scale of the learning crisis in Africa is becoming more widely understood, as many international and African leaders are making moves to prioritise foundational learning over the coming years.

The group said, as these initiatives and interventions are implemented, an independent monitoring mechanism is essential to ensure accountability and provide insights into what government needs to change.

The tools, called HCA Learning Scorecard, ranked countries in SSA on the quality of primary education. Countries are scored on indicators in six categories, including enrollment, completion, learning, resourcing, remediation and socio-economic factors.

These represent the ability of the sector to provide quality education to children at a young age to prepare them for a future of learning.

Speaking at the launch, HCA founder, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, said: “It has been encouraging to see recognition of learning crisis at this summit and to see the level of commitment among African leaders, policy makers and business leaders to address the generational challenge of learning crisis represents.

“This is a problem we are going to crack and I am totally committed to ensuring that we take the corrective measures necessary. To do this, we need a common way to assess progress and guide decision-making.

“It is clear from the results of our inaugural HCA scorecard that we have considerable work to do, with the majority of countries scoring poorly on our 2022 indicators. By providing these benchmarks, we have an opportunity to celebrate countries making advances and focus on those that need help.”

Reinforcing the importance of addressing the learning crisis, renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, said: “Reading is magical. Marks on paper become stories in your head. Reading helps you to think critically and contextually and enables reasoning. We cannot talk about our problems if we don’t understand them, let alone begin to solve them.

“Everything I know today, I can link back to what I learnt in my primary school in Nsukka. It was the springboard that allowed me to leap, the foundation on which I could build. Every African child deserves that. It should be considered as a moral imperative. The foundation is everything, without it everything falls apart, Adichie added.