The State of the World's Children 2004

Sub-Saharan Africa – Regional issues in education

Association for the Development of Education in Africa, Working Group on Non-Formal Education, 'Patterns of Public/Private Sector Collaboration in the Promotion of Nonformal Education and Training: Ghana, Senegal and Burkina Faso', 1997.
Through a literature review, field research and analysis of field data, this document provides an overview of the historical significance of non-formal education in sub-Saharan Africa. It offers definitions of relevant terms, contextual information related to its case studies in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal and an assessment of how non-formal education can help drive development today. The paper investigates the role of government, religious institutions, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations and for-profit enterprises in supporting non-formal education.
[External Web page]

Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), 'Girls’ Education in Africa: The FAWE response to EFA – highlights for the year 2000', FAWE, Nairobi, 2000.
This document gives a synopsis of the history, work, and objectives of the Forum for African Women Educationalists as it strives to accelerate progress towards reaching gender parity in education in sub-Saharan Africa. It summarizes the Forum’s strategies and achievements in the context of specific goals outlined by the Education For All movement in the Dakar Framework for Action, which was implemented at the 2000 World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
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Forum for African Women Educationalists, 'Girls’ Education and Poverty Eradication: FAWE’s response', Paper presented at the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, Brussels, 2001.
This document details the numerous benefits of girls’ education to development in response to declining economic growth and persistently low literacy levels in the least developed countries. It outlines the factors that inhibit girls’ participation in education and the strategies that have been most effective in improving girls’ school enrolment. It explores and evaluates the role of the Forum for African Women Educationalists in girls’ education advocacy.
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Kirk, Jackie and Stephanie Garrow, ‘Girls in Policy: Challenges for the education sector’, Agenda no. 56, Durban, 2003.
This article presents the Girls’ Education Movement in Uganda as an innovative initiative that can help support girls’ active involvement in education. The authors advocate for the adoption of an educational model in which girls themselves are the driving force of the policy development process, and argue that fundamental organizational and conceptual changes must take place if girls’ concerns are to be fully integrated into educational systems.

Lloyd, Cynthia, Carol E. Kaufman and Paul Hewett, 'The Spread of Primary Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for fertility change', Population Council, New York, 1999.
This study uses Demographic and Health Surveys data, along with a literature review and an examination of the recent history of education in sub-Saharan Africa, to assess trends in schooling in 17 African nations. The study explores the link between data on education and data on fertility change, finding that lower fertility rates lead to higher rates of participation in education. It contends that the implementation of mass schooling will be difficult in nations with high fertility rates.
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Lloyd, Cynthia and Paul Hewett, 'Primary Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa: Recent trends and current challenges', Population Council, New York, 2003.
This article uses Demographic and Health Surveys data to assess levels of primary school completion in sub-Saharan Africa, finding that while the gender gap in education is diminishing, class-based discrepancies are widening. The paper calls for new investments in data collection and claims that national information management systems can be incomplete and sometimes even biased when reporting on levels, trends and gender differences in school enrolment and achievement.
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Support for Analysis and Research in Africa, Academy for Educational Development, 'A Transnational View of Basic Education: Issues of access, quality and community participation in West and Central Africa', Academy for Educational Development, Washington, 2002.
This publication examines the state of basic education in selected countries in West and Central Africa. It assesses issues that affect enrolment and retention, including parents' perceptions, social and religious beliefs, and community participation. It makes recommendations for improving the quality of basic education and the rates of access and completion. The report describes gender disparities in basic education and advocates for interventions specifically focused on girls.
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Swainson, N. et al, 'Promoting Girls’ Education in Africa: The design and implementation of policy interventions', Education Research Paper no. 25, Department for International Development, U.K., 1998.
This paper focuses on policy formulation and gender-based initiatives in three selected nations: Malawi, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The study investigates the information available to policy makers, the degree to which lessons learned have been incorporated into policy, obstacles that confront advocates of girls’ education, and the constituencies and alliances that support girls’ schooling initiatives. It studies whether girls’ education drives are donor-driven and why gender-based focuses often do not translate into gender parity.
[External Web page]

Tietjen, Karen, 'Educating Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa: USAID’s approach and lessons for donors', Technical Paper no. 54, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1997.
This document provides an overview of girls’ education programmes in sub-Saharan Africa sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development and evaluates the success of the Agency’s projects in encouraging girls’ participation in education. The document concludes that to be successful, girls’ education must be fully integrated into policy and institutional and instructional reforms.

United Nations Children’s Fund, 'Knowing the Pen: An analysis of girls’ education in southern Sudan', UNICEF Operations in Southern Sudan, 2001.
This document summarizes the dire state of girls’ education in southern Sudan and recommends programming and advocacy actions. It argues that girls’ schooling is impeded by early marriage, heavy workloads and the lack of women teachers. It asserts that serious reform will require action from educational authorities beyond and above the regional level. Regional statistics are included.

Verspoor, Adriaan, Angel Mattimore and Patrick Watt, 'A Chance to Learn: Knowledge and finance for education in sub-Saharan Africa', World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2001.
This report asks why the World Bank spending in Africa has not produced a greater impact on education. The answers, including a look at weaknesses in policy and funding, are discussed in this comprehensive document. It recommends expanded and broadened World Bank support for educational programs in Africa, advocates for the development of more flexible, responsive strategies and encourages renewed emphasis on equitable access for girls.
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