African governments get passing marks on education – if schools are accountable and responsive, Afrobarometer survey finds

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa’s education systems were making slow but steady progress in getting kids into school and keeping them beyond the primary grades, a new analysis of Afrobarometer data shows.

Many governments received passing marks on their performance in addressing educational needs, especially if citizens saw their schools as transparent in how they use tax revenues and responsive to reports of teacher misconduct.

Findings from national surveys in 34 African countries between late 2016 and late 2018 are detailed in Afrobarometer’s new Pan-Africa Profile on education. The analysis shows that beyond citizens’ direct experiences with their schools, democracy matters: People are more likely to be satisfied with the delivery of educational services if transparency and accountability at the school level are embedded in a political system that encourages these qualities.