El imperativo educativo de África

DUBÁI – El secretario general de las Naciones Unidas, Ban Ki-moon, calificó la educación como “la mejor inversión” que los países pueden hacer para construir “sociedades prósperas, sanas y equitativas”. Esta idea es particularmente aplicable a África, donde estos últimos años se hicieron grandes inversiones en educación, que permitieron lograr importantes mejoras en alfabetización, escolarización e ingreso a la universidad. Pero el continente todavía tiene mucho por hacer.

Según la UNICEF, África subsahariana es hogar de más de la mitad de los 58 millones de niños de todo el mundo (especialmente niñas y muchachas) que no van a la escuela. Más de uno de cada cinco africanos de entre quince y veinticuatro años de edad no tiene empleo; sólo la tercera parte terminó la escuela primaria; y a pesar de ciertos avances, la proporción de africanos con educación superior todavía es baja.

El hecho de que muchos indicadores sociales estén estancados o en baja es particularmente decepcionante, ya que África alberga muchas de las economías de más rápido crecimiento del mundo. Según un informe reciente de Naciones Unidas, entre 1990 y 2010 la cantidad de africanos que viven en la extrema pobreza aumentó casi el 40% hasta 414 millones. Cuatro de cada cinco muertes de niños de menos de cinco años ocurren en África.

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