The Sterling One Foundation has stated its readiness to invest in foundational learning through its partnership with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and other partners to enhance education in Africa.
This commitment was made at the 2023 high-level policy dialogue hosted in Zambia by ADEA and the Zambian Ministry of Education to inform policy and decisions on foundational learning, foster dialogue and peer learning, and share good practices on what works in support of the African Union Year of Education scheduled for 2024.
In a statement, the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe, expressed concern about the dire situation facing African children, considering the inefficient education system in place to cater to them, coupled with the rapid rise in their population.
With this challenge at the front burner, she explained that 10 African Ministers of Education and some other country representatives had agreed to prioritise foundational learning and develop a foundational learning starter pack model for the 2024 African Union Year of Education (AUYoE) and beyond, as an urgent step towards tackling the challenge.
“Policies are crucial to sustainable development work in Africa and we are glad that the deliberations here have fashioned out ways to improve the work being done across the early childhood and primary education value chain,” stated Ibekwe.
She added, “At our foundation, we support the work of different stakeholders through grants, technical support and strategic engagements, and we are excited to see how the mainstreaming of the resolutions here will improve that work.”
The Minister of Education of Zambia, Douglas Munsaka Syakalima, stressed the importance of all stakeholders taking the resolutions seriously and that foundational learning is at the base of what will drive Africa’s development.
Some other leaders who spoke at the Policy Dialogue include Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Founder of Human Capital Africa and Co-convener of the Foundational Learning Ministerial Coalition, and Dr Benjamin Piper, Director of Global Education at the Gates Foundation, both of whom advocated strongly for data-driven decisions and scaling what has worked.