Ezekwesili advocates building right levels of human capital in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Dr Oby Ezekwesili, the CEO of Human Capital Africa (HCA), has called for the building of the right levels of human capital as over 100,000 children are born in Sub-Saharan Africa each day.
Ezekwesili made this known during the virtual launch of HCA on Tuesday in Abuja.

She noted that it is necessary to build the human capital of these children in order to ensure that all our children receive high quality education.
“Over 100,000 children are born in Sub-Saharan Africa each day, and unfortunately, every day, we find new ways to let all 100,000 of them down – By denying them the opportunities they need to build the right levels of human capital necessary to thrive in the world today.

“Perhaps most critical of our failures in building this necessary human capital, is our inability to ensure that all our children receive high quality education,” she said.

She added that out of these number born each day, around 90,000 currently are not able to read a simple sentence by the age of 10 or 11.
She said that studies have shown that one is unlikely to learn much in school if unable to read a simple sentence by the age of 10.

According to her, evidence confirms the situation is equally bad when it comes to basic numeracy as well. And unfortunately, our region is the only one in the world where in some cases girls learn even less than boys.

“Gaining these foundational skills are critical to progressing in school; to learning other subjects; participating in technical education and eventually, becoming productive members of the workforce and society.

“How can we ensure future that generations participate in the increasingly digital world, when they cannot do basic mathematics.

“On those 100,000 children mentioned, did you know that by 2050, they will also form 25% of the world’s population under 25?

“Think about what this means for Africans. The value we could add to this planet. The value we could generate for our future generations.
“But with 90% of us not being able to read a simple sentence by the age of 10, value is perhaps the last thing we would be creating,” she said.

She said these problems were created due to the failure of the system that has the resources to fix the crisis.

She, therefore, called for the need to support the country’s leaders and policymakers to understand and implement the right actions geared towards developing the human capital of the children in the region.

She further called on policymakers to set a very specific goal to ensure that foundational learning improves.

 

Also, the former President of Malawi, Dr Joyce Banda, said a high quality education remained one of the most basic rights of all children across the world. She was, however, worried with the continuous denial of children from this right.
“The state of education in our region is truly shocking: Only around 70% of children finish primary school and less than half complete lower secondary school.

“And around 10-15% finish tertiary education. While this is shocking in and of itself, an even bigger challenge is that they’re not learning.
“Nine out of 10 school children cannot read a simple sentence with comprehension by the age of 10,” he said. She expressed concern about the challenges of inequality which caused girls not to remain in school.

She therefore called for the need to give these generations a chance at becoming more productive members of the workforce and as well a chance of a better life. She urged policymakers to stop wasting time but commit time, resources and efforts to improving learning in the classroom.

She also advocated for the governments to shift focus towards learning at the foundation level by understanding that without it, there was no future learning.

HCA is an an organisation founded to fight injustice and work together with country leaders, policymakers, donors, CSOs and all partners to ensure the rights for all children in this region and continent. (NAN)

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