Former president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete says Africa may have made strides in expanding education but that much more needed to be done.
According to him, the continent still needed to double its efforts in academic transition between the primary and secondary education levels.
“By look of statistics, Africa is a continent of the primary school leavers. Only less than 20% of its young people can have access to secondary school education. Worst still, even those few who make it to secondary school are not doing much better.
On average in countries around the world, nearly 30 percent of upper-secondary school students attend a vocational secondary school; in Africa, it is less than 20 percent.
“On average in countries around the world, nearly 30 percent of upper-secondary school students attend a vocational secondary school; in Africa, it is less than 20 percent,” he stressed during forum held at Harvard University’s Center for African Studies.
“Because of automation, most available jobs in the future will be for high-skilled workers. We must invest in science and tech education to make sure African workers can compete.” –— Harvard Center for African Studies (AfricaHarvard) April 25, 2018
The workshop was held under the theme, ‘Africa’s Transformation in 21st Century.’ Kikwete also stressed the need for added emphasis on education of the girl child, according to him, ‘When girls are married too young, they are denied equal access to education.’
Incidentally, back home in Tanzania, the government is strictly enforcing an education policy seen as anti-girl child. Pregnant schoolgirls are not by law allowed to return to the classroom after giving birth. President Magufuli and the ruling party have said there is no going back on that position.
Kikwete also stressed the need for Africa to leverage on technology to improve Africa’s development by investing more in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Other speakers at the Africa’s Leaders Speak event were former Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and former Prime Minister of cape Verde, Carlos Veiga.