There are a number of ways to be fed, emotionally, physically, financially, mentally and so on. There has been, and continues to be, much talk about the feeding of the soul, the very essence of who we are. In much the same way the feeding of the mind, the gaining of knowledge, skills and insight, feeds the core of who an individual is and will become in the future. Education and knowledge are food for life and, if we take the analogy further, the curriculum content, what is taught, can be likened to the diet of the mind; the essential building blocks for future development.
According to an Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) 2017 Triennale General Synthesis Paper, “Although Africa has not achieved the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) and the EFA (Education for All) goals, it has made remarkable progress through these programmes”. They report that between 1999 and 2014 pre primary GER (Gross Enrolment Rate) doubled from 11% to 22% and primary ANER (Adjusted Net Enrolment Rate) rose 30 percentage points from 50% to 80%”. In addition to this, “The parity between girls and boys in primary education increased from 0.85 to 0.93 and in secondary education from 0.82 to 0.86” These are against an education enrolment rate target of 100% by 2035 and the target of no gender disparity at all levels of education by 2030. Africa is not alone in some of these challenges; achievement of these targets is a global issue. According to the 2016 World Education Monitoring Report 31.4 million school aged children, 23.6 million secondary school age 1 adolescents and 33.1 million youths of secondary age 2 are still not going to school.
The concept of Africa demonstrating its “capacity of a society to maintain itself” in the context of its ability to assert its cultural identity in globalisation is clearly described and articulated in this document.
In relation to education it recognises, “achieving education for sustainable livelihoods, human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, African cultural identity, the ideals of pan-Africanism…” along with other things continues to be a considerable challenge. It was interesting to note that “building the foundations of a strong African identity”, through the teaching of general African history as an integral part of the art of teaching and delivery of education is currently only “fully integrated in higher education. In primary education, only one country has done so, in secondary 1 five countries and in secondary 2 seven countries out of 51 countries surveyed. In addition, African education systems continue to favour the uses of foreign languages as a languages of instruction”.
It states “pedagogic revolution is necessary to put back on track teaching and learning processes that prioritise memory at the expense of the observation, experimentation, analysis and logical thought, the critical mind, etc”. Both the Sustainable Development 2030 initiative and the African 2063 Agenda are working towards “integrating changes in awareness, attitudes and behaviour in the learning curriculum to promote a new world and a new Africa in the perspective of sustainable development.
I’ve heard it said that as a man thinks, so it he. Let’s think about what we are eating in terms of our knowledge and education diet and think about how we can influence the knowledge and education diet of the current and future generations. Surely we can make a donation from the resources that we ourselves have amassed in our lifetimes to date.
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants LTD
Lesley Shepperson / email@example.com