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Mastercard Foundation wants secondary education to prepare youths for work


Says Nigeria, Kenya, others need 10.8m new teachers by 2030

Mastercard, through its foundation, has stressed the need for secondary education to prepare the youths for work.

In a new report titled: “Secondary Education in Africa: Preparing Youths for the Future of Work,” the findings indicate that changes in the nature of work are placing a premium on skills that help young people to be adaptable, resilient and creative problem-solvers.

The American multinational financial services corporation said secondary education that provides relevant skills to young workers would help to improve productivity, particularly in the informal sector, and also play an important role in driving long-term economic growth and reducing poverty in Africa.


Mastercard Foundation President and CEO, Reeta Roy, who spoke while welcoming people to a virtual summit to discuss the report findings, yesterday, said digitisation, automation and technological advancement are already changing the nature of work in Africa.

Roy said young people must enter the workforce from secondary education equipped with the right skills, adding that strategic investments into secondary education can be a big part of ensuring that young people and their countries emerge from the other side of COVID-19 stronger and more inclusive.

The report says that across the continent, the youths’ population is growing and is expected to reach 456 million by 2050. It said that enrolment would double by 2030, representing an additional 46 million students at the secondary level over the next 10 years.

According to the report, over the next 10 years, an additional 10.8 million teachers will be needed.Reflecting on the data and findings within the Secondary Education in Africa report, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda underscored the need for cross-sectoral partnership to achieve the report’s proposed recommendations.


Also, in her keynote address during the virtual summit, which was attended by policy-makers, educators and young people, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia emphasised the importance of investing in relevant, high-quality and universal secondary education as a lever for advancing inclusion.

She said: “There is no greater driver of inclusion than a quality education. And there is nothing that can more quickly devastate hopes for the future than to have it taken away.”

“After Ebola devastated Liberia, forcing us to close our schools for many months, we realised that we needed to place learning at the centre of the recovery process. As we recover from this current crisis, it is my strong belief that collaborative partnership is key to reimagining a secondary education system that is fit for our future.”


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