Representatives of 20 African countries recognize the urgent need to address the learning crisis as a critical enabler for wider development goals.
Ten African Ministers of Education and a similar number of ministerial representatives collectively agreed to champion foundational learning as a priority for the 2024 African Union Year of Education (AUYoE) and beyond. They also resolved to rally their respective Heads of State to be “Champions of Foundational Learning”.
These were part of the resolution made in Lusaka at the end of the 2023 High-Level Policy Dialogue Forum on Foundational Learning organized by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and hosted by the Ministry of Education in the Republic of Zambia from 31st October to 1st November 2023.
In a communique issued at the end of the Forum, Ministers, and ministerial representatives from 20 African countries agreed on a foundational learning starter pack model as a resource guide to ensure uniformity, continuity, and sustainability.
They further resolved to collect relevant data, working with ADEA and partners, to inform policy and decisions on foundational learning, foster dialogue, and peer learning, and share good practices on what works in foundational learning in support of AUYoE.
The policy and decision-makers agreed to strengthen links between Early Childhood Education and Primary Education, advance the adoption of structured pedagogy, implement age-appropriate teaching methods, and harness the power of technology to increase the number of qualified teachers and enhance teachers’ well-being.
During the Forum, countries showcased innovative and nationally contextualized solutions with concrete results, among them Benin, Botswana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Senegal, and Zambia among others.
During the school visits, a key aspect of the Forum, participants witnessed the nexus between policy and practice as well as the integration of social-emotional skills through play-based learning.
The Forum was closed by Hon Conrad Sackey, Minister of Education in Sierra Leone, who urged countries to take forward the resolutions emanating from the event.
Countries present at the event include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.