The ex-president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete said that Africa is statistically a continent of primary school leavers during a forum held at Harvard University’s Center for African Studies.
The workshop was held under the theme, ‘Africa’s Transformation in 21st Century.’
The former president stated that the continent may have made strides in expanding education but that much more needed to be done.
According to him, Africa still needed to double its efforts in academic transition between the primary and secondary education levels.
He said: “By look of statistics, Africa is a continent of the primary school leavers. Only less than 20% of its young people can have access to secondary school education. Worst still, even those few who make it to secondary school are not doing much better.”
“On average in countries around the world, nearly 30 percent of upper-secondary school students attend a vocational secondary school; in Africa, it is less than 20 percent,” he added.
Kikwete explained the need for added emphasis on education of the girl child, saying, “When girls are married too young, they are denied equal access to education.”
The government Tanzania is strictly enforcing an education policy seen as anti-girl child.
Pregnant schoolgirls are not by law allowed to return to the classroom after giving birth. The President of the country, John Magufuli and the ruling party have said there is no going back on that position.
Kikwete also stressed the need for Africa to leverage on technology to improve Africa’s development by investing more in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Follow us on twitter @aprecon