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Half a Century of Education Progress in Sub-Saharan Africa (1960-2010)

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image of African and Asian Studies
For more content, see Journal of Asian and African Studies.

Abstract In general, independence marks the end of education provision oriented to the needs of colonial countries and the start of a more inclusive education system tailored to native traditions and needs. This article presents a retrospective overview of the development of education in Africa since 1960, when a large number of countries attained political independence. It describes the existing educational systems which were mainly inherited from the colonial period and discusses developments in education provision (expansion of enrolment capacities and levels of education), access, retention and completion in relation to factors such as teacher supply and with attention to gender. In light of the trends that emerge from this overview, the article further identifies the gaps and challenges to be addressed in order to make universal access to a good quality education a reality. The empirical contribution of this study is based on national data collected since the 1960s by UNESCO, especially its Institute for Statistics. This annual series of national data allows comparability of education access/participation, completion, quality and outcomes indicators over time.


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