On 5th August 2022, ADEA and the Ministry of Basic Education of Mauritius virtually held the 1st stakeholder consultation meeting on the Triennale sub-theme of, “Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.”
Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Basic Education of Mauritius, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ACASUS, Africa Practice, Lego foundation, UNICEF, UNESCO GEMR, USAID, Early Childhood Development Measure, Education Commission, ADEA Inter-Country Quality Node (ICQN) on Teaching and Learning as well as that of Secondary Education, JICA, WB, Smart Africa, and Teach for All.
ADEA presented the background of its Triennales as high-level forums for political dialogue and sharing of knowledge and fruitful experiences. The main theme of the 2022 Triennale is “Reflecting on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s educational systems, and how to build resilience to sustain the development of skills for the continent and beyond.” Foundational Literacy and Numeracy is one of the four main sub-themes, in addition to the cross-cutting areas.
The participants reflected on key emerging issues affecting the quality of education, like the COVID-19 pandemic, learning poverty, use of ICT in education and remote learning, curriculum reforms, language of instruction, and education financing models. The meeting noted the ongoing efforts aimed at addressing these issues. Africa’s continental strategic focus includes the commitment of its Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want to speed-up actions to catalyze education and skills revolution by expanding universal access to quality early childhood, primary and secondary education, operationalized by the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25). Other continental initiatives are the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); AU-UN Indicators Benchmarking Initiative for CESA/SDG4 joint reporting; Africa Spotlight Report Series Initiative & AU Peer Learning Mechanism on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN).
ADEA Secretariat highlighted the following as possible topics for discussion under the FLN sub-theme:
- Focusing on foundational skills, including language of instruction and social and emotional development in ECD.
- Introducing mathematics and creativity through play-based STEM for early learners.
- Teaching to improve learning –structured pedagogy and remediation.
- Data and assessment informed instruction.
- Improving learning recovery (increasing catch-up learning and progress beyond what was lost due to COVID-19).
- Community involvement in foundational learning.
The Cross-cutting areas are data management and utilization; gender, equity, and inclusion; education financing; and use of ICT in education.
In response, ADEA updated the participants on the ongoing and completed studies to contribute to the knowledge mobilization and to feed the discussions at the Triennale.
During the open discussions, the participants noted the need to review and to consolidate some topics. For example, learning assessment, teacher professional development, and improving learning loss can be combined. Partners like USAID indicated having the reporting tools for UN and SDG4 indicators, and other benchmarking tools, which can be showcased during the Triennale. The participants reiterated the need to strengthen teacher support, motivation of teachers and students, learning assessment, and the reading culture to improve learning outcomes. It was recommended to establish a Community of Practice around data generation and production, analysis, and utilization in decision making. The representative from the World Bank appreciated the outreach and highlighted that all plans sound good, the WB is ready to support. The representative from CONFEMEN suggested that it would be interesting to hear from CONFEMEN on their plans for PASEC 2024/ results of PASEC 2019 and the objectives of the new PACTE work that all feel very relevant to the FLN track.
ADEA Secretariat will continue to organize and hold a series of stakeholder consultation meetings for better preparation of the ADEA 2022 Triennale to take place in October in Mauritius and will continue to consult partners on how they can get involved during the event (plenary, side events and breakout sessions).