African countries are impacted by various social changes within a global context. This article mainly focuses on educated youths’ unemployment by using the term “timepass,” which describes the period in which youths search for jobs after completing their education. There are two reasons for the “timepass” period of youth unemployment: (1) rapid educational expansion, which arises despite (2) insufficient opportunities in the labor market. Using a case study conducted in rural Kenya from 2014 to 2019, this article also reviews the following as factors in terms of determining the “timepass” period: (1) availability of cash, (2) utilizing diversified tertiary education, and (3) access to information. As international organizations have emphasized the importance of education, it is important to build quality schools. However, it is also necessary to understand the opportunities available after education as a part of the education system, as people pursue basic education with the consideration of the opportunities available after their education. Taking this perspective into account while conducting academic research is also essential to respond to social changes in Africa.
The purpose of this article is to discuss future research on teacher policies in African societies in the 21st century with a focus on continuous professional development for teachers. In this era of globalization, the definition of competencies and roles of teachers has been reconsidered in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This article grounds its research suggestions in an overview of recent changes in teacher education contexts from the EFA movement until the SDGs period, reviewing the changed focal points of educational development with global agendas. Attention is then paid to the role of teachers and hence what the ideal teacher’s role would be in the understanding of educational outcomes. Considering diverse forms of education and images of “desirable” teachers in terms of “old model” and “new model” education, this article questions the feasibility of preparing teachers to engage in desired 21st century education models through teacher education. After reviewing the themes of previous research regarding teacher policy, this article proposes three research themes to be further developed in the future to advance the discussion surrounding teacher policy.
The term ‘competency’ has attracted attention due to the progress of globalisation in the 21st century and the qualitative changes in society, such as the emergence of a knowledge-based society. In recent years, competency-based educational reforms have spread globally. This study focuses on African countries and discusses the challenges in developing and implementing a competency-based curriculum to propagate the role of curriculum studies. Firstly, we reviewed the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) definition and selection of competencies (DeSeCo) project and the skills proposed by an international research project known as Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21s), which underline competency-based educational reform throughout the world. Secondly, we discussed the key competencies defined by the East African Community as an example of competency-based curriculum reforms in African countries. Following this, their characteristics were clarified by comparing them with competencies prescribed by major countries and international organisations. We found that the competencies stipulated by all the countries and organisations including African countries, are very similar, and they can be divided roughly into three categories: basic literacy and numeracy, higher-order cognitive skills, and social skills. Thirdly, we examined practical challenges in the spread of competency-based educational reforms in African countries using Lersch’s learning model. Finally, we proposed three curriculum research issues in African countries to solve those problems: (1) curriculum for the acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy, (2) local competencies applying specifically to African countries, and (3) comparative analysis of competencies in African countries.
Achieving equitable, quality education for all is a global development agenda as SDG4 stipulates. However, the existing research body insufficiently informs if there is an equity effect of educational intervention. The present study explores the equity effect of a project-sized intervention in education by examining an in-service teacher training project in Senegal. The study examined the data on math comprehension of 368 teachers and 2100 students from 91 schools in 8 provinces across Senegal collected through multistage random sampling.
The Project observed an equity effect; math comprehension improved while disparity diminished before and after the intervention for both teachers and students. For a school to gain mean score, reduction in learning gap within a school is indispensable; when a school fails to reduce the learning gap within, it also fails to gain the mean score. Further, there was a dynamism involving efficiency and equity. While mean score continuously improves, diminish in SD (standard deficiency) is most evident upon arrival of the intervention at target school, then SD reduction is limited during the next 3-5 years, to recover by the seventh year finally. The observed dynamism coincides with a shift in the beneficiary group: upon intervention arrival at school, it benefited students with a lower score, before benefitting students with a higher score as intervention period get longer. Such a dynamism suggests an interaction between teacher capacity development and student’s achievement.
Equity and efficiency are not necessarily trade-offs but can co-exist with project-sized intervention; however, a considerable portion of the target (approx. 10%) are left behind in the Project. Those left behind schools may exist in any project setting, and they need supplemental support. The study suggests that attention to the learning gap within a target group and continuous (not one shot) intervention is indispensable to materialize the equity effect of a project-sized educational intervention.
While international society stresses the importance of education for refugees to improve their quality of life and engages in lots of projects, their enrolment performance is inferior. In this understanding, this paper reports anticipated barriers to continued schooling for Sudanese refugees in Cairo, Egypt. Studies on refugee education have found factors that hinder schooling, and which this paper categorizes as (1) administrative restrictions, (2) psychosocial stress, (3) lack of personal skills and information, (4) low household income, (5) cultural norms, and (6) inadequate learning environment. It turns out that most of these impediments are closely related to refugees' daily lives in the host community. Therefore, this study focuses on refugees living in urban settings. Research on Sudanese refugees in Egypt showed that (1) administrative restrictions and (4) low household income are challenges to enter schools in Egypt. However, will refugees' schooling barriers be solved if they are freed from documentation matters and financial struggles? I conducted seven household surveys with a semi-structured interview in Cairo. This study suggests that they prefer to send children to the community school run by refugee or migrant communities due to psychosocial stress, such as bullying and discrimination at the Egyptian schools. Sudanese refugees and migrants in Egypt have connectivity to the Egyptian education system following the two countries' agreement. All nationalities do not enjoy this educational privilege in Egypt. This advantage may eliminate the reason for attending Egyptian schools since they can enter the Egyptian higher education with the Sudanese school certificate. Moreover, this study suggests that their academic background is merely a formality due to the lack of legal protection. Accordingly, this study finds their living expenses account for half of their income, which possibly causes difficulties in regularly paying the education fee to the community school. Low household income is seemingly a significant barrier to continued schooling for refugees; however, psychosocial stress may have a greater influence than tightened family budget on refugees' school choices in Cairo.