The International Monetary Fund projects that by 2035, there will be more young Africans entering the workforce each year compared to the rest of the world, emphasizing the need for students to learn not only the basic reading and arithmetic skills, but also skills that will empower them to face a world that is continually changing. Often called soft skills, life skills, or non-cognitive skills, 21st Century Skills include competencies such as communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity, that can be learned and transferred from school to work. While there is evidence on how to address 21st Century Skills within technical and vocational training programs in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), there is limited information about how to achieve this within basic education programs and curricula. Integrating 21st Century Skills into education programs and policies in Sub Saharan Africa has been challenging. Firstly, there is limited evidence and knowledge on how to use assessment to incorporate relevant skills within school systems and curricula. Secondly, there is lack of proper mechanisms for measuring and validating knowledge, skills and competencies and flexibility in assessment practice. Lastly, existing learning assessment tools were originally designed for use in high-resource contexts and are often not relevant for low-resource settings in SSA.
This project will build on the lessons of a learning assessment model knows as the Assessment of Life skills and Values in East Africa (ALiVE) that focuses on the long-term goal of helping education systems to assess critical 21st Century skills and use assessment data to improve curricula. ALiVE has been designed to be a simple, rigorous and easy-to-use tool that is feasible and affordable for in-school and non-formal education settings at a national scale. The focus of the project will be to build a robust knowledge management system on how to embed the ALiVE measures of 21st Century Skills within national endeavors to develop/improve programs and practice in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The project’s intended outcome is available, usable knowledge and enhanced government capacity to strengthen the link between learning assessment data and curriculum design, adaptation, and delivery at national level.
*This project will commence following the signage of the grant agreement.