A World Bank report has once again put teachers on the spot over their preparation in handling pupils at the classroom level.
The report, which was presented yesterday at a Pan-African high-level conference on education in Nairobi, indicates that mathematics and language teachers are not able to score 100 per cent from Grade 4 work.
The report dubbed Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa, indicates that teachers tested on Grade 4 English work on language had an average score of 63 per cent.
The teachers had an average score of 92 per cent in grammar task and 49 per cent in composition.
In mathematics, the average score was 77 per cent.
Adding double digit numbers was 98 per cent, and subtracting double digits was 86 per cent, while comparing fractions was 40 per cent.
The service delivery indicator survey was conducted between 2012 and 2016.
On recruitment, the report says the profession attracts more educated people, but pre-service preparation is inadequate and teacher-knowledge remains modest.
On teacher deployment, the report says: "Allocation varies widely across schools. Control of allocations and transfers is weak and curriculum specialisation worsens problems."
It added that teachers are absent from school and classroom, and that the problem stems from leave policy issues and weak school-level management.
"Teachers lack continuous support to improve teaching and materials and other conditions are unconducive," the report adds.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, who officially opened the conference, said the government is doing everything possible to ensure that students get quality education.
"Quality education should remain Africa's main focus at all time," she said.
African Union's (AU) commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof Sarah Agbor, announced that AU will establish an award to encourage teachers and raise the profile and status of the profession.
Prof Agbor said AU is working with Unesco to finalise the continental teacher qualification framework and manual standards for the profession.