Africa: Children are Not Getting Enough Education, Even in School


According to the Africa Learning Barometer, the number of children in school is starting to decrease in Africa. In addition, the few students that are in schools are not learning enough. Their education level is almost similar to that of children who do not attend school at all.

The barometer was created by the Center of Universal Education at Brookings. The institute gathered data on children’s learning assessment from 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Out of nearly 128 million school-age children, 17 million will never attend school. Another 37 million will learn little in school. From the total of students attending school, less than 10 percent will finish primary school and attend a university. Eventually, nearly one out of every two children will reach their adolescent years without the ability to read or write.

The study largely blames discrimination as one of the main reasons that children in sub-Saharan Africa are not getting enough education. In Ethiopia, 68.3% of the poorest members of the population have a sub-standard education. This stands in stark contrast to the 13.8 percent of the richest individuals with inadequate education.

According to the barometer, if nothing is done to address the issue, there will be millions of more children out of school by 2025. This is in direct contrast to the predictions of the 2000 Millennium Develop Goals (MDGs) that anticipate an increase in student enrollment in similar parts of Africa.

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