Title Facing Forward (Africa Development Forum)
Subtitle Schooling for Learning in Africa
Author Sajitha Bashir, Marlaine Lockheed, Elizabeth Ninan, Jee-Peng Tan
ISBN 9781464812606
List price USD 55.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 506
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher The World Bank
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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"While everybody recognizes the development challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa, few have put together coherent plans that offer real hope for any feasible and general improvement. Facing Forward combines an evidence-based plan that not only recognizes the deep problems but provides specific prescriptions for dealing with the problems. In the simplest version, focus on the skills of the people and do it in a rational and achievable manner."

—Eric Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute, Stanford University

"This book offers a clear perspective on how to improve learning in basic education in Sub-Saharan Africa, based on extremely rigorous and exhaustive analysis of a large volume of data. The authors shine a light on the low levels of learning and on the contributory factors. They have not hesitated to raise difficult issues, such as the need to implement a consistent policy on the language of instruction, which is essential to ensuring the foundations of learning for all children. Using the framework of “From Science to Service Delivery,” the book urges policy makers to look at the entire chain from policy design, informed by knowledge adapted to the local context, to implementation. Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa is a unique addition to the literature that is relevant for African policy makers and stakeholders."

—Professor Hassana Alidou, Ambassador of the Republic of Niger to the United States and Canada

"As the continent gears itself up to provide universal basic education to all its children by 2030, it has to squarely address the challenge of how to improve learning. Facing Forward helps countries to benchmark themselves against each other and to identify concrete lines of action. It forces policy makers to think “where do I go from here?” “what do I do differently?” and to examine the hierarchy of interventions that can boost learning. It rightly urges Ministries of Education to build capacity through learning by doing and continuous adaptation of new knowledge to the local context. Facing Forward will unleash frank conversations about the profound reforms that are required in education policy and service delivery to ensure learning for every child on the continent."

—Dr. Fred Matiang’l, Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Coordination of National Government, Government of Kenya (former Cabinet Secretary for Education)

"Facing Forward couldn’t have come at a more opportune time as countries in the region, including Mauritius, focus more on learning outcomes rather than simply on inputs and processes in education systems. The book underscores the important point that African countries need not exclusively model themselves on high-performing education systems in the world. Much can as well be learnt from other countries at the same level of development, or lower, by virtue of the challenges they have faced and successfully overcome. This presents opportunities for greater peer-sharing and networking with these countries. Indeed a number of key focus areas are highlighted in the book that demonstrate good practices worthy of being emulated. These cover domains as diverse as enabling factors leading to improved student progression, strengthened teacher capacity, increased budgetary allocation with a focus on quality, as well as improved technical capacity of implementing agencies in the region."

—Hon. (Mrs.) Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Republic of Mauritius


This book lays out a range of policy and implementation actions that are needed for countries in sub-Saharan Africa to meet the challenge of improving learning while expanding access and completion of basic education for all. It underscores the importance of aligning the education system to be relentlessly focused on learning outcomes and to ensuring that all children have access to good schools, good learning materials, and good teachers. It is unique in characterizing countries according to the challenges they faced in the 1990s and the educational progress they have made over the past 25 years. The authors review the global literature and contribute their extensive new analyses of multiple datasets from over three dozen countries in the region. They integrate findings about what affects children’s learning, access to schooling, and progress through basic education.The book examines four areas to help countries better align their systems to improve learning: completing the unfinished agenda of reaching universal basic education with quality; ensuring effective management and support of teachers; targeting spending priorities and budget processes on improving quality; and closing the institutional capacity gap. It concludes with an assessment of how future educational progress may be affected by projected fertility rates and economic growth. The primary audience for this book are policy makers in Africa, practitioners, and partners concerned about building the knowledge capital of sub-Saharan Africa.




About the Authors

Executive Summary


Chapter 1: Facing the Facts: Context and Progress • Knowledge Capital: The Key to Africa’s Future Development • Study Framework: From Science to Service Delivery • Grouping Countries by Educational Performance • Grouping Countries by Economic and Social Challenges • Mapping Educational Performance and Challenges • Organization of the Book • Notes • References

Chapter 2: A Focus on Learning • Introduction • Learning for Development • The Knowledge Capital of Sub-Saharan Africa in International Context • Equity in the Distribution of Learning in Sub-Saharan Africa • Determinants of Learning: Global Evidence • Correlates of Learning in Sub-Saharan Africa • Effective Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa • Summary: Implementing What Works in Africa • Notes • References

Chapter 3: The Unfinished Agenda for Reaching Universal Basic Education • Introduction • Early Grades: Building the Foundations of Learning • Improving Access and Progression in Basic Education • Expanding Lower-Secondary Education with Quality and Relevance • Summary • Notes • References

Chapter 4: Managing Teachers • Introduction • Africa’s Challenges in Teacher Management • Sub-Saharan Africa’s Teachers • Teacher Deployment and Presence in School and at Work • Teaching and Learning in the Classroom • Teachers’ Workplace Conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa’s Primary Schools • Strategic Priorities for Improving Teacher Management • Notes • References

Chapter 5: Deploying the Budget to Improve Quality • Introduction • Overview of Education Financing and Spending in Sub-Saharan Africa • Getting Better Value for Money through Public Financial Management Reform • Use of Decentralization to Improve the Planning and Execution of Education Resources • Using the Budget: Priority Areas for Improving Quality and Equity • Notes • References

Chapter 6: From Science to Service Delivery: Closing the Capacity Gap • Introduction • Generating and Using Data for Better Planning and Monitoring • Building Technical Capacity to Improve Education Quality • Coordination of Institutions to Align Resources and Inputs • Accountability and Incentives to Strengthen Performance and Outcomes • Consultation and Negotiation with Stakeholders to Build a Consensus • Toward an Approach to Capacity Building in Ministries of Education • Notes • References

Chapter 7: Conclusions and Recommendations • Summary and Conclusions • Recommendations • Notes • References

Chapter 8: Coda: Looking Ahead • Introduction • Changes in Context: Past and Current Challenges • Managing Expansion with Quality • Notes • References





About the Authors:

Sajitha Bashir is manager for the East Africa region in the World Bank’s Education Global Practice, where she oversees a large portfolio of education projects and analytical work in 20 countries. She has more than 25 years of experience leading policy dialogue, projects, and research in education and other social sectors from her work for the Bank in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America; in India’s national and state governments; and in various donor agencies. She catalyzed the creation in 2013 of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (PASET), which is mobilizing African governments, new development partners, and the private sector to strengthen skills development, higher education, and research. She has published widely in education and related fields. Before joining the World Bank, she was chief consultant for research and evaluation with the government of India’s national primary education program. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Marlaine E. Lockheed is a visiting lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy at Princeton University and has four decades of experience advising governments, donor agencies, and private organizations on reforms for education quality, gender equity, and school effectiveness. At the World Bank for 19 years, she held various research and senior management positions, including responsibilities for education policy and lending for the 14 countries of the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region. She has also served as vice president of the American Educational Research Association; on the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council’s Board on International and Comparative Studies in Education; as associate editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis; and on the boards of numerous other professional associations and scientific journals. She is author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters and of several books, including Improving Primary Education in Developing Countries; Effective Schools in Developing Countries; and Exclusion, Gender and Education: Case Studies from the Developing World. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Reed College and a doctorate from Stanford University.

Elizabeth Ninan (Dulvy) is a senior education specialist in the World Bank’s Education Global Practice and has 20 years of experience working on issues related to human development in several countries, particularly in Africa. She has led World Bank projects, studies, and policy dialogues in basic education, secondary education, and skills development in India, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda. Before joining the World Bank, she was codirector of the Joint Economics AIDS and Poverty Programme in South Africa, which sought to build the capacity of historically disadvantaged individuals and higher education institutions to deliver high-quality research for policy makers in health and social development. She holds a master’s degree in development planning from Wits University in Johannesburg and dual master’s degrees in public policy and quantitative methods from Columbia University.

Jee-Peng Tan is a consultant to the World Bank’s Educational Global Practice, following her retirement from some three decades in senior positions at the Bank, including as education adviser, working with colleagues and counterparts in government and international organizations on human capital challenges in emerging economies. She led the Policy and Sector Analysis Support Team in the Africa Region’s Human Development Department, whose work includes debt relief for education and health under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and implementation of the then-nascent Education for All Fast Track Initiative. She managed the production of analytical products, among them regional flagship reports and education country status reports, to shape policy dialogue and lending operations. She facilitated high-level exchange among African policy makers and their counterparts in China, India, Singapore, and Vietnam. She is an author of some 60 published works, including books, among them Workforce Development in Emerging Economies and Tools for Education Policy Analysis. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a doctorate from Princeton University.

Target Audience:

This book is a unique addition to the literature that is relevant for African policy makers and stakeholders in Education Sector.

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