P120
From village schools to univer-cities: Rural-urban dynamics in education and knowledge production in Africa

Convenors:
Sarah Fichtner (Associated at LAM & FU Berlin)
Marc Pilon (Institut de recherche pour le développement)
Akiiki Babyesiza (Higher Education Research & Consulting)
Stream:
Panels
Location:
BS004
Start time:
30 June, 2017 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

Against the backdrop of high urban growth and the so called youth bulge in Sub Saharan Africa, this panel seeks to address rural-urban as well as intra-urban disparities on the macro-, meso-, and micro-level with respect to discourses and practices of education (from pre- primary to tertiary).

Long abstract:

Africa has not only the highest urban growth rate in the world; with an average age of 19 years it is also the continent with the youngest population. Educational institutions are an important site for understanding young Africans' encounters with - and imaginations of - the rural and the urban. It is this site our panel focuses on. The majority of children still enter primary education in rural areas and although primary net enrolment rates in sub-Saharan Africa have increased from 59% to 79% between 1999 and 2012, the transition rate to secondary education lies at 64% (the world average is 94%). However, only five percent of the relevant age cohort attends universities. Most private and public universities are located in their nation's capital serving as innovative "knowledge cities". At the same time, universities all over the continent establish branch campuses in more remote areas in order to provide access more evenly. Our panel seeks to address rural-urban dynamics, as well as intra-urban inequalities, in education and knowledge production in Africa on the individual, institutional, societal and political level: How are educational careers (of learners and teachers, males and females) framed by their rural/urban contexts and the dynamisms in between? Which characteristics and models of rural and urban educational institutions mark the educational landscape nowadays (from pre-primary to tertiary, public and private)? How are they integrated in - and impact on - their rural/urban setting? How is the rural and the urban presented in educational discourse and practice, perhaps reproducing rural-urban disparities?