ADEA, HCA Launch High Level Ministerial Coalition, Initiate Scorecard to Measure Improvements in Foundational Learning across Africa

On Thursday, 16th February 2023, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Human Capital Africa (HCA) launched the Ministerial Coalition dedicated to improving foundational learning (FL) in Africa. The hour-long virtual event convened five Ministers of Education from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, and Uganda as well as four Ministerial representatives from Angola, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia. The policy makers reiterated their commitments to improve foundational learning outcomes in their countries and to benchmark their efforts, draw lessons, and achieve gains in FL more quickly.  

A key outcome of the ADEA 2022 Triennale was the formation of this FL Coalition comprising Ministers of Education from 11 African countries, committed to championing the agenda for improved FL outcomes. The Coalition aims to drive peer learning, knowledge and information sharing and to improve understanding on what works, what does not work and areas of mutual collaboration among the Ministers. The confluence of ideas in the Coalition will assist in implementing FL strategies and improve the quality of pupils produced by foundational learning structures in Africa’s education. 

While opening the event, ADEA Executive Secretary, Albert Nsengiyumva, encouraged Ministers and partners to make use of the Coalition to build momentum and improve their FL performance; 

‘We are not trying to compare anyone, we are trying to build momentum and improve the performance and the outcome of the investment going on in different countries.’ 

In her remarks, the CEO of HCA, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, acknowledged the enthusiasm that has greeted the introduction of the Scorecard and believes in the Coalition’s commitment to improve their FL systems, including leveraging the tool for their own progress. 

‘The HCA Scorecard was initiated in Mauritius, and we are happy to see the excitement that welcomed it. The Scorecard is not what the world says about you. It is actually a tool that facilitates your own progress.’

The Ministerial Coalition is based on two key pillars; regular advocacy and engagement, which will focus on knowledge building, peer learning, advocacies for FL and country-level engagements. The Foundational Learning Scorecard, as the second pillar, will assist countries to review the quality of performance of their primary education systems. Activities will include periodic performance data collection – including quarterly updates of the adoption tracker, desk research, in-country progress review meeting and annual meetings of coalition countries.  

ADEA is responsible for coordinating and ensuring the efficiency of the Ministerial Coalition. Already a communication and engagement platform has been set up on WhatsApp – and was also launched formally on Thursday, 16th February 2023 – comprising the Ministers from the 11 countries who committed to the Coalition at the ADEA 2022 Triennale. These include Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, The Gambia, Uganda, and Zambia. The Scorecard is an initiative of HCA, which tracks the performance of foundational learning systems across six key indicators including pedagogy and teacher capacity.

The highlight of the launch was the commitments from Ministers to use the platform to benchmark their performance regularly, leveraging the FL Scorecard. The launch was attended by Hon. Prof. Mariatou Kone, Minister of National Education and Literacy, Côte d’Ivoire; Hon. Rev. John Fordjour, Deputy Minister for Education, Ghana; Hon. Madalitso Wirima Kambauwa, Minister of Education, Malawi; Hon. Gaspard Twagirayezu, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, Rwanda; and Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Primary Education, Uganda. There were also representatives of Ministers of Education from Angola, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia.