Positive Outcomes: the Transformation - Why is this Important for Africa?
The CHILD OF THE UNIVERSE PROJECT aims to contribute to the acceleration of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) and the new Sustainable Development Goals as set out by the United Nations.
Child of the Universe (COTU) Project will contributing to achieving goals 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 17. This will be achieved by building better, holistic, technology-driven learning environments which will increase the entire educational experience.
Africa is the fastest urbanizing continent in the world. By the year 2030, half of its population will be living and working in towns and cities. However, the following facts present a daunting challenge to Africa’s development and ability to contribute on a global level.
- Although literacy rates have greatly improved in Africa over the last few decades, approximately 40% of Africans over the age of 15, and 50% of women above the age of 25 remain illiterate.
- Illiteracy among individuals over the age of 15 stands at 41 per cent; gender disparity in education prevails in 75% of countries. For the period 2000–06, Seychelles had the highest adult literacy rate (92%); Mali and Burkina Faso had the lowest (24%).
- Early childhood development is, in most countries, left to private sector actors primarily working in urban areas in aid of more advantaged social groups.
- Almost 50% of countries may not attain the goal of universal primary education by 2015; nearly 40 million children are not going to school. Liberia has the lowest primary student‐teacher ratio of 19; in Mozambique the ratio is 67. Cape Verde has the highest gross enrolment rate in secondary education (80%); Niger has the lowest(11%).
- Enrolment in lower secondary school rose to 46% in 2003 from 28% in 1991. The gross secondary school enrolment rate exceeds 20% in half of the countries, yet remains below 8% in 10countries.
- A minimum of three million more teachers is needed in sub‐Saharan Africa to achieve the goal of universal primary education by 2015.
- Africa loses an estimated 20,000 skilled personnel a year to developed countries, brain drain.
- There are more people connected to the Internet in New York City than on the entire African continent. In Liberia, almost no one has internet access (0.03 per 100); there are 34 in every 100 people in Seychelles. (MDG 8).
For example, in addressing Goal 1, Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, the aim of full and productive employment must be supported by education. Goal 3, Promote Gender Equality, addresses the need to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education. This is also dependent upon secondary schooling, education quality and teacher resources.
Goals 4-7, Child Health, Maternal Health, Combating HIV/AIDS and Environmental Sustainability, each can also be addressed with additional education.
Finally, Goal 8, Global Partnerships, addresses the need to disseminate information to support development in other countries. This goal contains the need to address internet accessibility, the powerhouse of information supply – The Child of the Universe Project is the Solution.
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