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Title: Tailoring Africa's Education Systems to Fit Africa's Education Needs in the 21st Century
Contributor(s): Kivunja, Charles  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
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Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), like most of those countries that the West refers to as 'Third World Countries', looked toward 2015 as the year of great expectations because that was the year by which the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were to be realised. Extreme poverty and hunger were to be eradicated, primary education achieved for all children of primary schooling age, gender equality promoted and women empowered, child mortality reduced, maternal health enhanced, infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and malaria defeated, environmental sustainability achieved, and countries encouraged to cooperate in a global partnership for development. The second of these MDGs, the achievement of universal primary education, is the focus of this chapter. The chapter argues, not only that 2015 came and went without SSA realizing the achievement of this goal, but also that SSA countries are unlikely to ever achieve this goal, if their education systems continue to use the mono-grade education strategy. The monograde strategy of teaching groups children according to chronological age into different learning stages and each such stage is taught by one teacher. However, whereas the system might have worked well in Europe where it came from, it appears unsuited to most educational contexts in SSA. Based on the findings in our research in primary schools in Uganda and Zambia, the chapter argues that mono-grade teaching is a misfit with the contexts within which education is being provided to children of primary schooling age in SSA. The chapter proposes that SSA needs an education system that is well tailored to the current social, economic and political supply and demand conditions, so as to cater for Sub-Saharan Africa's education needs in the 21st century more efficiently and effectively. The chapter identifies multigrade education as that system. Unlike mono grade, multigrade education is the system which involves grouping pupils of several grade levels and across the age span, and studying different curricula, in classes taught by a single teacher. Teaching occurs within a graded system of education and a single class contains several grades taught by one teacher, in the same classroom. In consideration of the results of our research we argue that multigrade has a greater potential to achieve universal primary education than monograde because it is the de facto system education in most primary schools in SSA. It is also more cost effective, and with proper training of teachers, could be the most efficient system.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Africa in Global Development Discourses, p. 292-300
Publisher: The Centre for Democracy, Research and Development (CEDRED)
Place of Publication: Nairobi, Kenya
ISBN: 9789966193339
Field of Research (FOR): 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics, Business and Management)
130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
930102 Learner and Learning Processes
930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education

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