The challenges of education development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) at the beginning of the 21st century are urgent and unprecedented. Faced with persistent gaps in the coverage of primary schooling, almost all countries have launched major efforts to ensure that all children will have the opportunity to complete primary education of acceptable quality. Concurrently, accelerating economic growth and social change are creating an urgent imperative to expand access to further learning to strengthen the human resources base. This report provides a timely resource on good practices and potential solutions for developing and sustaining high-quality secondary education systems in African countries. It contains elements of a roadmap for improving the responsiveness of Africa's secondary education systems to the challenges of the 21st century. Its main objective is to facilitate policy dialogue within African countries and between those countries and their development partners. This book addresses issues concerning the education of youth about 12 to 18 years old. It draws on the outcomes of the Secondary Education in Africa (SEIA) initiative, which supported workshops in Kampala, Dakar, and Accra and commissioned eight thematic studies and several background papers underpinning key sections of this book. The emphasis is on general junior and senior secondary education, complementing earlier work on skills development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Secondary education has generally been neglected in education policy and practice. This is now changing, but still suffers from being addressed separately from other parts of the system. What are needed are secondary education plans that are integrated with longer-term national plans for education development.
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