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Many African Primary School Students Not Sufficiently Competent in Reading or Maths

Figures of the week: Africa, education, and the 2018 World Development Report

This report states that it could take 180 years for Tunisia to reach the OECD average for mathematics if the current pace of learning remains unchanged. The report finds that a high share of students complete primary school without the necessary mathematics and reading knowledge. There are regional differences within the continent too (Figure 2). The WDR cites a 2014 regional assessment showing that 58 percent of grade 6 students in West and Central Africa were not sufficiently proficient in reading, though students in East and Southern Africa perform slightly better, with only 37 percent not proficient. Contrastingly, the level of math proficiency is comparable in the two regions, 58 against 60 percent.

Figure 2. Most grade 6 students in West and Central Africa are not sufficiently competent in reading or mathematics

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