Re-visiting Djiboutian curriculum to re-skill young people for digital jobs

Two young people use a computer at a local community center in Quatier 4 in Djibouti City.

The Government of Djibouti recognizes education as essential for growth and human development. As a result, the government has placed education at the center of its development policies. In 2000, an education reform was initiated with the goal of improving access, quality, and relevance of the education being taught in Djiboutian schools.

Despite progress in increasing access and coverage in education, access to education continues to be one of the country’s major challenges. Other challenges include quality, the availability of learning materials, and disparities due to gender, geographic areas, and socio-economic status.

However, the changing nature of work is swiftly making today’s education systems, labor policy and social contracts outdated. As a result, the path to a good life is increasingly difficult to identify and attain for many people ad me included. Progress requires new data, new narratives, new dialogue, new tools, new behavior and new collaboration.

Technological innovation is fundamentally transforming education, and updating the skills required for the contemporary workplace. Building future-ready education systems require designing curricula that is fit for the 21st century, coupled with the consistent delivery of a basic education for everyone that builds a solid foundation for a lifetime of adapting and developing new abilities. Specialized education should provide in-demand skills, and address the disconnect between employer needs and existing instruction to optimize global talent.

Djibouti should develop an educational curriculum that impart knowledge and skills that are relevant to the modern workplace, help to build early learner identities, develop local and global citizenship values, and nourish core non-cognitive skills which are essential. As we note 21st century education creates the base for future re-skilling and self-actualization, and for civic identity. 

Employers are increasingly warning of widening gaps between skills that are in demand and those that are available, highlighting a need to foster more technical talent if countries want to remain competitive. There is a considerable skills mismatch between university graduates and the needs of employers in most economies. Without adequate modifications to education and training systems, the gap between supply and demand is projected to grow significantly.

Closing this gap in Djibouti will become more complex, as skills requirements change at an accelerating pace – particularly in fields such as information technology. This will require the collaboration of the public and private sectors. More needs to be done to better balance the focus of policy-makers, investors and politicians between academic training, and technical and vocational education and training. There is a need to better understand the linkages between the two, and ways they can be complementary for individuals, businesses and economies.

In a nutshell, learners need a deeper understanding of how to apply technology and innovation to achieve desired results. Education systems, meanwhile, need to ensure technology curricula are kept up-to-date, while teachers need to have the opportunity to refresh their own skills and knowledge to keep pace with external developments. The use of technology should be embedded across the educational experience, to mirror the ways in which technology is now relevant to all sectors and careers.

Hawa  spends much of her time learning coding with the local technology led youth start-up called Center for Innovation and Development. She enjoys the opportunities that come with digital literacy.