Posts tagged ‘tertiary education opportunities’

March 15, 2012

Facts and Stats on Education in Africa (Part 2)

I can’t believe it was three yeas ago that I posted the first post of interesting facts I’ve come across on education in Africa. Brought back by popular demand, here are some more interesting facts and stats on education in Africa. Special thanks to Kristin for compiling most of these 🙂

Facts on Girls’ Education in Africa

  • A girl who finishes basic education is 3 times less likely to contract HIV/AIDS. (USAID)
  • If all women in sub-Saharan Africa finished secondary education, 1.8 million lives could be saved annually. (USAID)
  • Nearly half (47%) of primary school aged girls are not attending school. (Nation Master)
  • For every year that a girl remains in school beyond 4th grade, their wages increase 20%. (USAID)
  • Between 2004 and 2010, pregnancy among Tanzanian girls aged 15 to 19 years fell by about 12%. Still, more than 40% of young women begin having children by age 18, and the country has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the world. (UNICEF)
  • In 2010, a survey showed that at least 93% of girls from the wealthiest households completed primary education, as compared to only 54% from the poorest families. (The Citizen)
  • Girls in urban areas of Tanzania were eight times more likely to finish secondary education than girls in rural areas. (The Citizen)
  • In Tanzania, 49% of girls among the wealthiest households compared with only 9% from the poorest families complete secondary education. (The Citizen)

School Enrollment in Africa

  • Globally, 69 million school-age children are not currently attending school. (The New York Times)
  • Currently, Tanzanian children are expected to receive 5.3 years of schooling in their lifetimes. (UN)
  • About 58% of 5-to- 6-year-olds in Tanzania do not attend pre-primary schools, which serves as a foundation for better educational outcomes. (The Citizen)
  • There are 604,378 primary-school aged children who do not currently attend school. (Nation Master)
  • Only 72% of students complete primary school. (Nation Master)
  • The student-teacher ratio in Tanzanian primary schools is 55.86 students per teacher. (Nation Master)
  • Two thirds of Tanzanian children do not go on to secondary school. (UNICEF)
  • Only 0.7% of students enroll in tertiary education. (Nation Master)

Poverty and Education

  • Many of the 7.6 million young Tanzanian children today are living in poverty.  (The Citizen)
  • Typically, poor countries devote budgets for education disproportionately to universities and higher education, because urban, middle-class students and their families have political clout. Consequently, primary schools in rural areas and urban slums are widely neglected. (The New York Times)
  • 88% of Tanzania schoolchildren in urban areas were attending primary school, as compared with 78% in rural schools. (The Citizen)
  • For each year of school completed, an individual’s earnings increase by 10%. (USAID)
  • On average, Tanzanian adults have had 5.1 years of schooling. (UN)

Literacy in Africa

  • Less than three-quarters (73%) of Tanzanian adults are literate. (World Bank)
  • Among Tanzanians aged 15 to 24 years, 79% of males and 76% or females are literate. (World Bank)
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December 16, 2011

Higher Education in Africa

While primary education is an essential step forward,  the importance of higher education should not be neglected.

According to a UNESCO report on education in Africa, enrollment rates in higher education in sub-Saharan Africa are by far the lowest in the world.

The report brings to light the importance of higher education in our changing world:

“Higher education continues to play a vital role, which is likely to increase further, in the new knowledge-based and globalizing economy. Thus, beyond the question of the fundamental right to education of all levels, acquiring knowledge to navigate the complexities of this world is a necessity for everyone especially the groups that have been hitherto marginalized.

Women compose one of those marginalized groups.

In developing countries, especially in Africa, there are still historical, cultural, and economic factors that have been hindering women’s chances for access to and benefits from formal education, especially at the tertiary level.

Looking specifically at Tanzania, data from the Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania (BEST), shows that in both government and non-governmental higher learning institutions (of which there are currently 32), the percentage of female students has been rising from 31.4 percent  in 2007/2008 – or 16,358 students – to 37.1 percent (51,860 students) in 2010/2011. The total to both gender is 45,501 in 2007/2008 and 139,638 in 2010/2011.

Increasing tertiary education opportunities for women can make a big difference in Tanzania.  In the country today there is the saying ‘ukimwelimisha mwanamke umeelimisha jamii’.  In English this means: “If you educate a woman, you educate a family.”  This statement captures the profound effect that women can have on the overall well-being of society.  By gaining access to higher education, women who aspire for knowledge  can supplement the communal struggle to eliminate poverty.

Associate Prof Marit Tjomsland of University of Bergen, Tunisia, insists that ” women’s higher education stands as a highly efficient way of shaping more gender-equitable societies and thus as a major vehicle for general development.”

Providing women in Africa with access to higher education opportunities can have a huge impact.  Increasing education can help to break down cultural barriers, remove gender stereotypes, and strengthen development efforts.