As the workplace continues to place a premium on skills that help young people be adaptable, resilient, and creative problem solvers, Africa has been urged to rethink secondary education systems to ensure Africa’s young people have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workforce.
This position was contained in a report released by Mastercard Foundation.
According to the report, secondary education that provides relevant skills to young workers will help improve productivity, particularly in the informal sector and will play an important role in driving long-term economic growth and reducing poverty in Africa.
“Digitization, automation, and technological advancements are already changing the nature of work in Africa. Young people must enter the workforce from secondary education equipped with the right skills. So, strategic investments into secondary education can be a big part of ensuring young people and their countries emerge from the other side of COVID-19 stronger and more inclusive,” said Mastercard Foundation President and CEO Reeta Roy, as she welcomed audiences to the Secondary Education in Africa Virtual Summit held earlier today to discuss the report findings.
Across the continent, the youth population is growing and is expected to reach 456 million by 2050. This growth, along with improvements in the number of young people enrolling in, and completing, primary education is increasing the demand for secondary education.
Enrolment is expected to double by 2030, representing an additional 46 million students at the secondary level over the next 10 years. This in turn requires an expansion in the education workforce.
Over the next 10 years, an additional 10.8 million teachers will be needed. Ensuring high-quality teachers are in classrooms is one of the most strategic investments a country can make to enable all students to develop the skills they will need for work and as citizens of a global world.