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Last Updated
Tuesday 15 June 2021, 15:11 pm.
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SADC education policies criticised

Many education policies in the SADC region are unfit for economic development ABSA chief, Maria Ramos, has said. Ramos was speaking at the 11th Annual UB Foundation Dinner Dance at GICC recently.
By BABOKI KAYAWE
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: SADC education policies criticised








The dinner dance was held under the theme, Africa: the Importance of Skills for Future Growth and Ongoing Economic Resilience.   Ramos called for a review of policy and a re-think of graduate education systems in the SADC region. "Education systems exist in most countries in the world and have become part of the fabric of our lives," she said. "But education policies and outcomes certainly do not always indicate that we truly take to heart the importance of education."

Ramos said the intrinsic benefit of education was often under-emphasised in policy debates when trying to commodify education and provide society-level analysis of the role of education. But it was crucial that the region sorted through the complex policy dialogue of how to achieve economic convergence and come to a conclusion that education was actually a prerequisite for achieving economic convergence in developed economies. "Unless and until the growing population of sub-Saharan Africa becomes an educated and skilled population, we will not succeed in closing the gap between developed and developing economies," she noted.

Ramos emphasised that the instrumental benefit of a well-functioning education system could not be underestimated because there was a near straight line from a successful education system to the delivery of favourable developmental and other economic outcomes.Nonetheless, contrary to popular skepticism, Africa and Asia did have a chance to converge on the growth levels of the developed economies. Ramos added that developed economies would continue to recover sluggishly from the global economic meltdown, giving Africa and Asia an historic opportunity to close the economic gap with sustained

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levels of high economic growth.

She quoted a recently released paper titled World Bank Group Education Strategy 2020, saying while it acknowledged that there were still important challenges in access to schooling, such as gender imbalance in developing countries, especially in terms of who got into the education system in the first instance, the report had drawn a useful distinction between schooling and learning. "The report concludes that it is time to strategically switch focus from schooling to learning," she said. "In other words, the true driver over the coming decades will be the quality of the skills and content that are successfully imparted and taught in the education system." In short, curricula must speak to the kind of workforce necessitated by an integrated, global, knowledge-based economy, she noted. 

The World Bank also recommended a focus on early education, including a focus on the wider conditions under which learning took place, such as dealing with poor nutrition of school learners. Ramos said the report argued that "a child's growing brain needs nurturing long before formal schooling starts at age six or seven".The University of Botswana Foundation is a non-profit trust established in 2000 to engage the public and private sectors and other stakeholders in partnerships with the University of Botswana.

It solicits support from its alumni and the public and private sectors for the advancement of the institution. The UB Foundation has awarded a total of 100 scholarships, including named scholarships from organisations in support of higher education. Eighteen scholarships were awarded this year across all faculties at UB.

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