Last month, the Sterling One Foundation joined other key players within the African educational system to discuss issues affecting learning in Africa at the 2022 Triennale hosted by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).

The 3-day event held in Mauritius provided the opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the effects COVID-19 has had on education in Africa among other challenges.

Kicking off the event, Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) intimated everyone on the importance of the various sessions at the summit in proffering solutions to the challenges facing Africa’s youth and their education.

One of the sessions which had the CEO of the Sterling One Foundation, Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe focused on the ‘Impact of COVID-19 in African Educational Systems’. Joined by other stakeholders from the Islamic Development Bank, Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), IDRC, and the University of Auckland, the panel discussed COVID-19 and some of the beneficial innovations it has birthed.

Sharing some of the work her private sector led non-profit, Sterling One Foundation has done, Mrs. Ibekwe stressed that the pandemic changed a lot and while we wait for things to get back to normal, we must embrace new approaches to building a more resilient education system.

In her words; “there is more that we can do, but we have laid the foundation for a new era of learning by launching technology tools such as our platform – Unify, which is giving institutions the tools to quickly transition to e-learning, while commit to interventions in underserved areas of Nigeria where access to quality education has further diminished by equipping more teachers, funding more students to stay in school, and providing on-the-go learning that comes to the people in cases where they can’t go to school”.

Other sessions focused on conversations around school leadership, technical and vocational skills development, foundational learning, and.

Speaking on ways to improve foundational learning, Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili stressed the need for urgent action on numeracy and literacy inefficiencies, with a focus on improving teacher capacity.

She highlighted the correlation between both areas, stating that; “when we begin to implement some of the interventions discussed, like giving teachers the necessary coaching, helping them with the design of their lesson plans, you can actually know whether children are learning.”

Her thoughts were further echoed by other speakers including Hon. Mrs. Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Vice Prime Minister & Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology of the host country, Mauritius, keynote speaker, Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Uganda and the Honorable Minister of Education from Côté d’Ivoire, Prof. Mariatou Kone, who gave more insights into ways which proper assessment systems of the learning happening in

classrooms have provided her country with the right data on the best ways to support teachers, thus strengthening the quality of skills being passed on to students.

Overall, the 2022 Triennale gave Ministers of Education, policymakers, education project leaders and impact investors in the African education system the opportunity to have a roundtable conversation on what the next steps should be for Africa’s youth to get the right education they need

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