Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Africa is going to witness a major boom in primary and secondary education in the years to come, Sajitha Bashir, practice manager for education at the World Bank, told Express.
Bashir said in the next 15 years, Sub-Saharan Africa is poised for major education growth with the governments’ policy to form two million classrooms with two million teachers. Sajitha, vice-chairperson of the Vakkom Moulavi Foundation and closely related to the visionary, said she has been travelling across Africa and studying the progress achieved by countries in the Sub-Saharan regions in education as a senior World Bank official.
The World Bank team is into the design of the projects, monitoring, accountability, impact and financial implications. Bashir, an alumnus of the London School Of Economics, said there is a lot of improvement in the 48 African countries she is looking after, including Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. She said after the intervention of the World Bank, children have entered the system in Africa and this is a major development.
However, she said while children in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mauritius, Ghana and Botswana perform extremely well, children of countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are very poor in learning.
She also said the performance of children in international-level tests is bad and most children in several African countries are not even able to read a paragraph properly. The World Bank official also said the bank is even financing the production and distribution of school textbooks in African countries. Interestingly Dr Bashir said, “The high population rate is another factor creating a hindrance to the educational progress in these African countries and the fertility rate is 4 to 5 per cent which means a woman bears 4 or 5 children and this is a big challenge.”