This past Tuesday, Uwezo1 launched it’s 2012 report on the state of numberacy and literacy (right-click to save-as) across East Africa. Similar to last year, the results are not cozy. Here is a round-up of the critical facts this year:
- Less than one third of pupils possess basic literacy and numeracy skills.
- 20% of children in Standard 7 do not have Standard 2 level literacy and numeracy competencies.
- There are large differences among EA countries, particularly with regard to literacy.
- There are minimal differences in literacy and numeracy levels between boys and girls.
- Children from socio-economically disadvantaged households perform worse.
- Private schools pupils perform better public school pupils, particularly in Tanzania.
For East African authorities involved with the delivery of public education, this should not be coming as a surprise, unless it takes more than a year for officials to read/see the results around town.
More importantly, what can everyone – citizens and public institutions – do about this?
When we blogged about the report last year, here is what our commentators suggested:
- The Government needs to deliver on its promises. People can help, but the Government is a central actor.
- Basic education needs to be a basic right for all and there should be mechanisms in place to maintain this right.
- Languages should be used consistently.
- We need to discuss these findings with the public. Conferences and blogs are one thing, word on the street is another. Does the average citizen know?
In addition some further questions were asked for future reports:
- Based on the research, what are the recommendations for action?
- How does teacher pedagogy within the classroom affect learning?
- What are people saying about their own / their childrens’ education?
- Where can we find comprehensive information about all schools (rather than samples of schools)?
What are your thoughts about this year’s report? Discussion welcome below.
1Uwezo means ‘capability’ in Kiswahili. Uwezo is a four year initiative that aims to improve competencies in literacy and numeracy among children aged 6-16 years old in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, by using an innovative approach to social change that is citizen driven and accountable to the public.