Africa’s S — Schools

What is the current state of education in Africa?

February 23, 2005

What is the current state of education in Africa?

One important yardstick for development performance on any continent is the proportion of children of secondary school age who actually go to school.

Why does this matter so much? Simple. Secondary school attendance is practically a necessity for people aspiring to become part of the "middle class." And middle class growth is closely related to any country’s economic, social and political development.

According to official statistics, 82% of African children attend primary schools.

But attendance rates say nothing about the quality of education. Unfortunately, many African governments do not manage to "deliver the goods."

When state support for schools is lacking, then non-government organizations are called upon to play a major role. In African cities, for-profit schools are also growing fast.