Advancing Learning Outcomes for Transformational Change: Lessons learnt from six year implementation and evaluation of an education program in Nairobi

Programming that seeks to improve outcomes for adolescents and youth should cut across school, home and the community.
Adolescents and youth living in disadvantaged settings are likely to be at higher risk for negative outcomes and therefore
more likely to benefit from interventions that provide opportunities for dialogue and, supportive environments. This study focused on adolescence because this phase of life is one of the most rapidly changing stages of human development. […]

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Human Development

In the stream of work on Education and Technology, we seek to understand how African countries can leverage technology to […]

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Strengthening whole youth development in Kenya

The terms ‘education’ and ‘training’ suggest more far-reaching concepts associated with an individual’s full development including soft skills, personality traits, cognitive and non-cognitive abilities, character skills, socio-emotional skills and technical skills. Acquisition of such skills has been linked to Whole Youth Development (WYD). With over half a million youth joining the Kenyan labor market annually, the need for WYD in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Program is critical. Equipping youth with skills and knowledge that promote WYD is essential for their success in the labor market and other aspects of life. In Kenya, TVET institutions are well-positioned to promote WYD as they prepare youth for transition to the labor market. […]

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Urbanization and Education in East Africa

Why has Africa not developed as fast as East Asian countries, as should have been the case? Paul Collier has asked this question in several ways (see e.g. Collier, 2006). The evidence points to the fact that although Africa is endowed naturally and has the potential to experience rapid development, among the many factors, including mal-governance, educational expansion has lagged behind (Green et al., 1997). Even after the declaration of education access as one of the MDGs and the earlier crystallization of the targets through the EFA frameworks, average participation in SSA is still below the world trend 1999-2009 (UNESCO-UIS, 2011). Still, within the East African region education has been at the forefront of development vision in all the countries with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania having declared and implemented universal education policies enjoined with their development visions. Burundi and Rwanda have followed suit albeit with emphasis on science and technology, particularly in Rwanda. Even before independence, the value of education to human well-being in the region was long recognized (Sheffield, 1973). […]

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Quality and Access to Education in Urban Informal Settlements

African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) had from 2005 to 2010, conducted a longitudinal survey in two formal settlements (Harambee and Jericho) and two informal (slum) settlements (Korogocho and Viwandani) in Nairobi to understand the uptake and patterns of school enrolment after the introduction of the Free Primary Education (FPE) in Kenya. The results of the study showed increased utilization of private informal schools among slum households as compared to the formal settlements. […]

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The Impact of Skills Development on Competitiveness: Empirical Evidence From a Cross-Country Analysis

In the past half-century, most countries have emphasized the development of human capital as an instrument for economic growth, sustainable development, and improved global competitiveness. However, limited evidence exists on the link between skills development and a country’s competitiveness. This paper examines the contribution and association of skills to a country’s competitiveness. The study uses panel data from 84 countries in estimating an empirical model. Skills availability, foreign direct investments, secondary education, and technical (engineering) education and training are significant contributors to a country’s competitiveness in a technologically changing and demanding world. This dynamic requires institutionalizing high-level technical skills development and on-the-job training programs in various firms that provided company specific and general skills to employees. The study recommends increased participation in secondary education and technically oriented courses in tertiary education and programs that encourage skills transfer from foreign companies. Foreign direct investment, however, requires a conducive investment environment. Increased collaboration between tertiary institutions and industry is crucial for improved skilled development. […]

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Research Evidence Matters: Contributions of APHRC’s Research to Education Policy Analysis in Kenya and Uganda

Research evidence has shown that education is one of the key interventions when it comes to addressing poverty and health issues, including maternal and child health; fertility, as well as individual wellbeing and life chances (UNESCO GMR, 2010; McMahon & Oketch, 2010). For sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the key education policy concern remains the lack of universal access to basic education of an acceptable quality (Ngware et al., 2011; Lewin 2008; Oketch & Sommerset, 2010a). It is well known that the Dakar 2000 conference galvanized governments in the region to declare priority in education as set in the Education For All (EFA) framework and as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Tremendous achievement has indeed been realized, with net enrollment rising from around 60 percent in 1999 to 75 percent in 2009 (UNESCO-UIS, 2011). Expenditure in education has been sustained in some countries, accounting on average for 2.3 percent of GDP, the largest share of GDP allocation compared to other regions of the world (Oketch et al., 2012a). Thanks to competitive politics, the idea of universal access to basic education has remained alive in the political circuits and campaigns since around 1991. Implementation strategies have varied, with some countries taking a gradual approach of easing off the fees for a block of grades at a time, while others have applied a blanket ban on all fees for all grades simultaneously (Innoue & Oketch 2008; Deninger, 2003; Oketch & Rolleston 2007). […]

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