Expanding Access to Secondary Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa: Key Planning and Finance Issues

In sub-Saharan Africa the number of children finishing primary school is increasing, in part as a result of successful Education for All programmes. However, the majority of secondary age children remain excluded from access to good quality secondary schooling. This monograph argues that the knowledge and skill that secondary schools can provide is central to closing the gap between Sub Saharan Africa and the rest of the world in the capabilities in the labour force that can sustain growth. It makes the case for the managed expansion of secondary schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa offering new insights into necessary reforms of policy and practice. It makes several recommendations, including revisiting budget shares between educational levels and overall spending on secondary education if higher participation is to be achieved. Also, better management of the flow of pupils and structural changes are recommended to facilitate higher secondary enrolment rates at affordable costs and diminish gender inequities. Improved teacher training and deployment will also be critical to successful expansion. Curricula are required that address societal needs and secondary expansion without curriculum reform risks irrelevance and wastage.

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