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Saturday, 21 July 2018

How to tackle the Learning crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa: aligning teaching and learning components to achieve better learning outcomes

Learning is one of the key challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 4 (SDG4) on Education 2030 Agenda and the African Union Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-2025 targets.
Recent data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) indicate that Sub-Saharan Africa has the single largest number – 202 million- of children and adolescents who are not learning.

 Estimates based on past trends suggest that across the region, nearly nine out of ten kids between the ages of 6 and 14 will not meet minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, by the time they are of age to complete primary and lower secondary education. According to UIS, this learning crisis could threaten progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For this reason TALENT, the Teaching and Learning Educators’ Network for Transformation, a coordination platform of stakeholders engaged in regional programmes to address the learning crisis, is organizing a Regional Capacity building workshop on alignment between curriculum, teacher training and learning assessments, from 25 to 27 July 2018 in Dar es Salaam- Tanzania, addressing the issue of poor education quality from a system alignment perspective.

System alignment perspective refers to the extent to which learning assessment, learning goals, standards, curriculum and pre- and in-service teacher training are all aligned and concur to form a coherent system that foster effective learning.
Moreover, research from UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) stresses that the current curriculum reforms of Sub-Saharan Africa have not been necessarily accompanied by relevant reforms in teacher training and or review of learning assessment.

Finally, learning assessments (school-based, examinations and large-scale) have become more prevalent in SSA countries, but they tend to focus on exams, cover only limited domains of the curriculum and generate data whose use to support learning is limited.
The workshop will enhance the capacities of national delegates to address alignment issues in national learning assessments systems. Moreover, it will be a platform for learning and sharing the best practices in learning assessment system alignment with curriculum and teacher training.

The three-day workshop will gather national teams , heads of curriculum, teacher training and learning assessments- from Sub-Saharan countries, as well as development agencies, active in Local Education Groups in the same countries. The teams will develop a national work plan to improve the alignment of the learning assessment system in their country.

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