Globalisation and international trade require countries and their economies to compete with one another. Economically successful countries will hold competitive and comparative advantages over other economies, though a single country rarely specialises in a particular industry. For Africa to develop into an advanced and sustainable continent, there needs to be sufficient education and knowledge sharing and nurturing. This article will explore the relationship between education and economic development.
When it comes to developing nations and continents to compete in the digital world, more people are seeing the need to upgrade the state of their education system. Traditional teaching is still around; however, it is being aided by other phenomena such as learnerships, skills training and apprenticeships that develop young people with the necessary skills for the careers they want to join.
Challenges Countries Face
African countries fall victim to a lot of hindrances that impact their education system as well as affect how children access that education – from social to economic, infrastructure, as well as curricular. Here are some of the challenges needed to be curbed in order to push the education bar forward:
Back in 2012, the province of Eastern Cape in the towns of Lusikisiki and Libode were part of the first schools to be selected for infrastructure upgrades which took them from mud to brick and mortar. Since then, South African schools have been on the path to redeveloping old schools and building new ones. There has also been the use of sustainable building materials that have helped keep workers safe and pupils protected from harm. There is still a long way to go; however, the first steps have been identified.
Many African children struggle with making it to school due to a lack of access to transportation. While the new normal may have introduced a newer way of learning (online), there are still children needing to attend class. Roadworks and development are the first steps to helping beat this hindrance. Upon fixing the roads, not only will the infrastructure and logistics part of developing countries be achieved, but also job creation, which is what we will discuss next.
With sustainable development comes the need to install, uninstall and upgrade certain technologies, methods and infrastructure. This opens up the opportunities for employment.
Mismanagement Of Funds
Many African countries fall behind in upgrading any kind of system due to challenges that include mismanagement or embezzlement of funds by corrupt officials. Holding people in powerful and leadership positions accountable for not only the funds of a country, but the managing and handling of them as well, will drive many countries into great financial freedom. From the national government to municipalities, each official has to be trained to handle the state’s funds in order to give people the developments they need.
Upgrading The System From The Ground Up
It is important to also note that our education system itself needs work in order to better develop the people. A new educational model should combine traditional content with important financial, health and administrative skills. Students should practice teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking. They should also gain exposure to entrepreneurship projects such as identifying and exploiting market opportunities through business ideas such as community recycling. This shift away from standardised learning will prepare students to make a positive impact on the social and economic well-being of their communities.
Improved Resources for Teachers
Computer-assisted learning will inevitably improve education in developing countries and enhance the educational experience of both teachers and students. The computers should have age-appropriate learning software and a technically educated staff that knows how to maintain them. These methods to improve education in developing countries will continue to encourage student enrollment and, most importantly, will ensure that children stay in school and learn more while they are there.
The Ripple Effect
Addressing the fact that an estimated 250 million children worldwide are not learning the basic skills they need to enter the labour market is more than a moral obligation. It amounts to an investment in sustainable growth and prosperity. For both countries and individuals, there is a direct and indisputable link between access to quality education and economic and social development. By running youth empowerment programs, learnerships and skills development missions, we can easily bridge the gap between education and economy in one go. Government and other large organisations are working hard to constantly bring about this change.
All countries, regardless of their national wealth, stand to gain from more and better education. Together we can achieve a just education transition that will help the pupils, teachers and economies of the African countries that are in need. We just have to keep going.