Education in international development settings, including in conflict and post-conflict contexts: teachers, quality and learning, and inequalities related to poverty, gender and disability.

Blog: We must act now

Nov 2017
Dr Agnes Akosua Aidoo provided the keynote address during the opening session of the conference ‘Putting Children First’ on 23 October 2017. During her inspirational speech, she reminded all participants of the urgency to fight child poverty in Africa, both for improving current and future lives.

Education is central to economic development and recognised as the Second Goal of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Many developing countries, including Bangladesh, which is the focus country of this project, have achieved impressive progress in primary school enrolment; however, there is evidence that the effectiveness of primary education is low in many cases.

South African higher education (HE) is characterised by inequalities of access, participation and success, and hence youth disadvantage, yet it is also seen as central to economic development and social mobility.

Although there have been major advances in school enrolment in the past two decades, the outcomes of education are often poor, especially among girls, young people from indigenous groups and ethnic minorities, those of lower socio-economic status and in remote rural areas. The World Bank and other globally influential agencies have recently been promoting the view that this is partly due to the limited aspirations of such children and their parents.

The low level of numeracy skills of millions of poor and marginalised students, particularly in developing nations, is of international concern. This project focuses on improving these through developing teachers' and teacher trainers' pedagogical and assessment skills in extremely deprived urban areas in South Africa and Tanzania. Eighteen schools and three training colleges will be involved.

The aim of the study is to understand resilience and exceptionalism in high-functioning township and rural primary schools in South Africa. Previous research has shown that a large part of the explanation behind these schools' success is the leadership and management practices of teachers and particularly principals.

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