ADEA, UNESCO set to launch Zambian and continental Spotlight reports on foundational learning


All is set for the official launch of the national and continental version of the 2023 Spotlight Report series tagged Born to Learn. The study will be unveiled on the 7th of May at the 2024 Conference of the African Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities, during a session hosted by Honourable Douglas Munsaka Syakalima: MP, the Minister of Education, Zambia.

This year’s study tagged, Learning Counts, was produced by the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report at UNESCO in partnership with the Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). It is a second report in a Spotlight series focusing on foundational numeracy in Africa. Findings from this edition shows that teachers will struggle to effectively translate the curriculum into action in the classroom if there is a lack of support to address their knowledge gaps and their adverse classroom conditions.

Manos Antoninis, Director of the GEM Report, said:

Teachers are set up to fail if they do not have the right materials to teach what is expected of them. We would not send a doctor without a stethoscope, for instance. Why should we assume teachers can teach without relevant, up to date teaching materials in appropriate languages. Without these, we are effectively turning teachers into interpreters and translators on top of their day job.

Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of ADEA said:

“This is another step towards producing the evidence that must guide how countries approach and address challenges in foundational learning. Essentially, teacher capacity is a major aspect of foundational learning that we must remedy. We must equip our teachers if we hope to address learning poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and set the right foundations for our continent’s future.”

The Zambia and continental reports are the third one to be released, following the report on South Africa, launched in March and Uganda in April. It will be followed by the launch of the Mauritania country report later in 2024. Mauritania will be the only francophone country to feature in this year’s Spotlight report series.

The report remains a key advocacy and evidence base in our effort to support countries to delivery on their commitments to address foundational learning at difference forums in recent past. These include the Transforming Education Summit in September 2022, the ADEA Triennale in November 2022, and the ADEA High-Level Policy Dialogue Forum in November 2023.