Basic Education in Africa Programme

© UNESCO /Glenna Gordon
Extraordinary advances have been made in primary education in Africa but there is still much to do.

The Basic Education Africa Programme (BEAP) is a UNESCO supported initiative for Africa.

It seeks to support a holistic and comprehensive reform of basic education to assist countries in achieving Education for All by 2015.

Some 43 million school-aged children are still outside the formal education system in sub-Saharan Africa and quality education still remains a major challenge.

The programme is country driven and numerous African countries are implementing the BEAP concept. They are: Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania, The Gambia and Uganda.

The focus of BEAP

The BEAP focuses on access, quality, relevance and equity in an expanded basic education framework.

It promotes a 9-10 years free and uninterrupted basic education of quality, linked to additional two years of pre-school education (ECE).

The implementation strategy revolves around three main areas: advocacy and policy advice; capacity building and technical support.

Much attention is given to developing a competency-based curriculum to enhance learning and provide knowledge, skills and values relevant to subsequent levels of education and the world of work.

BEAPs main objectives

1. To strengthen countries' capacities to develop and effectively implement sound education policies, results-based programmes and activities and realistic education budgets;

2. To foster research, quality data collection including financial data, and promote knowledge sharing through partnerships with for example universities and research institutions;

3. To reinforce the capacity of national education teams to leverage increased support to education and advance country leadership and accountability;

4. To build a critical mass of competency-based curriculum developers and teachers to enhance learning. A Postgraduate Diplomat in Curriculum Design and Development was launched in October 2011.

Regional cooperation and partners

BEAP operationalizes some of the goals of the African Union Second Decade of Education (2006-2015), the Kigali Call for Action (2007), the outcomes of the 2008 Biennial of the Association of Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the meeting of West African Economic and Monetary Union in 2010 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The programme also works closely with Regional Economic Communities.

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