Region faces serious literacy challenge - UNICEF

news-image

By Tiri Masawi

WINDHOEK - While countries in SADC made steady progress in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those related to universal education, a global education monitoring report released by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) last week depicts a serious challenge on low literacy in the region.

According to the UNICEF report which zoomed into the progress made worldwide as well as in the SADC and sub-Saharan regions on achieving better education standards by member states, the regional bloc has a herculean task to deal with the low levels of literacy.

 UNICEF said in half of the 16 members of SADC, between one in five and one in two of all adults were illiterate. 

This paints a high number of illiterate citizens within the SADC region despite education being offered free at primary and secondary schools in most countries. 

However, the benefits of universal free education are still far from transcending to tertiary education in SADC. UNICEF also added that there were 750 million illiterate adults in the world and in half the SADC countries, between one in five and one in two of all adults were illiterate.

The United Nations linked organisation, however, suggests that governments in SADC should implement a host of measures to curb the illiteracy challenge.

“In order to deal with the challenge, governments should coordinate to help develop common indicators – for example, on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), strengthen representation in regional and global fora, make sure education policies encompass all learners, design education and social assistance policies jointly on Technical Cooperation Group (TCG) and align policies for learning and strengthen national,” UNICEF said

UNICEF also suggested the need for the alignment of the education curriculum by SADC member states to start paying particular attention to vocational and artisanal related subjects as a way of bridging the gap for those that were not academically inclined but had interest in practical subjects.

UNICEF also called for member states to encourage learners to participate selectively in cross-national learning assessments, update curricula with sustainable development and aligned with teacher preparation and assessment modules.

 

Migration and brain drain

Not only were some member states in the region reeling with challenges associated with low literacy rates, but the SADC region was also under a severe challenge of brain drain. According to UNICEF, those countries facing economic challenges such as Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo had been the hardest hit by the brain drain.

According to UNICEF, at least one in five skilled people emigrate from 27% of countries, including Mozambique and Zimbabwe

UNICEF also showed that the migration traits towards South Africa, which is a regional economic hub, were purely for better standards of living as well as adults seeking better education.

This, UNICEF explained, was because South Africa had more immigrants than locals who had completed tertiary education.

“There were over 1000 attacks on education 2013-2017 in 34 countries, including D.R Congo. Governments and education ministries should collaborate with statistical offices to better identify and target those left behind, strengthen national learning assessments to inform Policy Invest in increasing robustness of SACMEQ, analyse curricula and textbooks for inequalities and coverage of sustainable development and extent to which textbooks are available and teachers trainee Finance labour force/adult education surveys and direct assessments to understand the distribution of skills,” UNICEF said.

UNICEF also called on SADC member states to coordinate to help develop common indicators  on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), strengthening representation in regional and global fora, such as the Make sure education policies encompass all learners and designing of  education and social assistance policies joint Technical Cooperation Group (TCG).

“Align policies for learning and strengthen national assessments,   participate selectively in cross-national learning assessments and update curricular fit with sustainable development and align with teacher preparation and assessment,” UNICEF urged the SADC region.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Comments

image

Poachers have broken into Botswana’s p Read more...

10 Aug, 2018 at 01:58 PM

image

In a sign that Botswana is likely to cli Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 09:26 AM

image

Gaborone - Poachers have broken into Bot Read more...

04 Feb, 2019 at 07:35 AM

image

DAR ES SALAAM - DIRECTIVES on online for Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 01:24 PM

image

SADC leaders meeting in Tanzania this we Read more...

19 Aug, 2019 at 01:51 PM

image

Windhoek - Namibia’s fight against HIV Read more...

30 Sep, 2020 at 04:53 PM

image

Windhoek – South Africa’s 2020-21 DS Read more...

30 Sep, 2020 at 04:51 PM

image

Johannesburg - South Africa's Devon Pete Read more...

30 Sep, 2020 at 04:50 PM

image

Windhoek – Namibia’s Ministry of Agr Read more...

29 Sep, 2020 at 09:50 AM

image

Harare – About a fortnight ago, FIFA Read more...

28 Sep, 2020 at 04:05 PM

image

Lusaka - Amid myriad criticisms from soc Read more...

14 Dec, 2018 at 06:28 AM

image

Harare -The South African Premier Soccer Read more...

04 Sep, 2020 at 12:47 PM

image

FORMER Liberation Movements (FLMs) in So Read more...

16 Sep, 2019 at 12:36 PM

image

Heads of state and ministers who travell Read more...

30 Jul, 2018 at 02:01 PM

image

Windhoek - The SADC Secretariat - in col Read more...

04 Sep, 2020 at 01:29 PM