Keynote Speaker – Mohammed Elmeski
January 10, 2024
Leading for learning effectiveness and improvement: Examples of promising synergies from Africa
Africa has its share of challenges. It also has the youngest population in the world. The UNESCO International Commission on the Futures of Education (2021) recognizes that Africa is disproportionately represented in the global share of out-of-school children, inequitable access to education, the declining share of qualified schoolteachers, low enrolment in TVET programs, and a widening digital divide. In the same vein, the State of Learning Poverty 2022 post pandemic update reported that the percentage of children at the end of primary school who are unable to understand a simple written text stood at a whopping 89%. Percentages of this magnitude should set aside any complacency about the urgency of learning improvement reform in the continent.
It is also an important time not to panic and lose sight of the promising practices showing effect and resilience all over Africa. In the midst of the unrelentingly discouraging reports on Africa’s educational performance, it is wise take stock of what works and build on it. In this regard, Dr. Elmeski’s keynote address uses appreciative inquiry to share promising pathways to learning effectiveness and improvement spearheaded by African leaders who represent the formal education sector as well as community members, civil society, and the entrepreneurial world.
Dr Mohammed Elmeski is a Comparative International Development Education Senior Policy Advisor. His most recent positions include Clinical Associate Professor at Arizona State University, and Senior Researcher at American Institutes for Research. In 2020, Dr. Elmeski was the Co-Chair of the 2020 edition of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement held in Morocco. His professional expertise includes the design and implementation of educational reform, operational management, change leadership, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity development. His research interests include community engagement, educational leadership, teacher preparation, social emotional learning, and school transformation in marginalized neighborhoods. Dr. Elmeski earned his PhD in Comparative International Development Education and Program Evaluation from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He has led a diverse career that includes teaching, research, evaluation, technical assistance, and project leadership in the USA, Africa, Central America, MENA, and South Asia.