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Economics of Education and Skill Formation

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

04 November 2020


Post No. 168



The Week’s Contents


• The Month of the Economics of Education and Skill Formation (Skills Development Month) and the Second Lockdown

• “A la une” (Autumn Leaves of Action for the Upkeep of the Nature in Existence) Campaign, Note No. 4 – In Focus for Week Beginning 02/11/2020: Species of Nature

• The Campaign for Resilience against the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Second Lockdown


… and much more!




Key Messages


• The Month of the Economics of Education and Skill Formation (Skills Development Month) and the Second Lockdown


November is the Month of the Economics of Education and Skill Formation (or in short Skills Development Month) within CENFACS.  It is the month of the economic value of education as well as of the non-economic benefits from education even if there could a dispute about these values or benefits.  It is also the month of the technology of skill formation; month in which we try to find out how skills are formed and how they can help us to further reduce poverty and enhance sustainable development.

So, our November work on economic issues relating to education in terms of poverty reduction and sustainable development has started this week.  This work includes the identification of causal relationships between African organisations’ work and outcomes in educational projects.

In this identification, we shall refer to the human capital theory which will be the important paradigm to be used this month.  In other words, all along this month we shall work on the importance of education and training (skills development) in order to help reduce poverty and enhance sustainable development. 

Skills formation and development will be about forming new skills (that is any abilities to perform an activity in a competent way) to continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the second lockdown and beyond.  Skills formation and development will indeed include skills building to support the CENFACS Community and the Africa-based Sister Organisations in the fight against the economic and health threats and consequences brought by the coronavirus pandemic.  This variety of abilities or skills will make human capital.

Under the Main Development section of this post, you will find further information about this first key message.




• “A la une” (Autumn Leaves of Action for the Upkeep of the Nature in Existence) Campaign, Note No. 4 – In Focus for Week Beginning 02/11/2020: Species of Nature


The fourth note, which is the restoration of ecological infrastructures relating to species of nature; deals with ecological species.  The latter is generally defined within the nature literature as a set of organisms adapted to a particular set of resources (an ecological niche) in the environment. 

Under this note, our campaign for the Upkeep of Nature is about restoring ecological infrastructures for those species at risk or at threat of extinction and exploitation.  Endangered, vulnerable and rare species of nature are amongst them.  Through this campaign, we would like actions to be maintained or taken to re-establish the function and structure of damaged ecological infrastructures linked to species of nature.  Areas of campaign action include: habitat loss, poaching and invasive species.

This campaign is also about actions to improve the living space for ecological species of nature while demanding reduction of bad humans’ interference in the life of species of nature.  In this respect, the campaign is against the following: hunting to extinction, dying out of wild plants, pollution that threatens species of nature (e.g. animals), forbidden wild life trade, etc. 

However, the campaign is for the knowledge and discovery of ignored and unknown plants for food and/or medicine, especially at this exceptionally difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic.  The knowledge and discovery of new plants or crops to solve the coronavirus mystery in curing people are highly needed to stop the coronavirus to keep running. 

In brief, this is a campaign for the restoration of ecological infrastructures relating to ecological species of nature.  For any queries or enquiries about this note and the entire “A la une” Campaign, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.  




• The Campaign for Resilience against the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19 Campaign) and the Second Lockdown

What would a second lockdown mean for CENFACS’ COVID-19 Campaign?


CENFACS’ COVID-19 Campaign is another campaign we are running and a key note for this week.  It is a health and economic campaign.  Let us briefly explain what this second campaign is about.


• • What is COVID-19 Campaign?


COVID-19 Campaign is an organised series of actions intended to reduce sanitation poverty and economic hardships brought by the coronavirus pandemic while protecting the community from it through the following actions:

awareness raising, information, guidance, support and help about the health and safety measures against it, as well as the economic action needed to deal with it.

The campaign, which promotes sanitation, uses a shadowing model in which the intensity/effort spent on this campaign is inextricably linked to the evolution of the epidemiological curves of the coronavirus where it happens.  It has different phases.


• • Phases of COVID-19 Campaign


The Campaign has three phases which are as follows:

Phase 1: Initial Response to COVID-19

Phase 2: Impact Monitoring and Evaluation of COVID-19 on CENFACS

Phase 3: Post-coronavirus Rehabilitation Strategies


The Phase 1 of Initial Response to COVID-19 was our initial reaction when we heard about the coronavirus.  Our action was to get as much information as we could about the virus and share them with the community and our services while protecting our users, the members of the public as well as our services and activities against this deadly virus.

The phase 2 of the COVID-19 Campaign (Impact Monitoring and Evaluation of COVID-19) seeks to answer a specific cause-and-effect question about changes directly attributable to COVID-19 during the first lockdown in the UK.  In this phase 2, we looked at the causality and attribution approach regarding the overall impact of COVID-19 on CENFACS’ work and system of poverty reduction. 

Phase 3 is the Post-COVID-19 Rehabilitation Strategies, which are processes of planning and conducting restoration in order to bring back our programmes, projects, activities, services and products to their original or normal condition.  It is a restoration or build-back campaign.  


• • Post-Covid-19 Rehabilitation Strategies and the Second Lockdown


Since we are heading towards the second lockdown in England, let us explain a bite more about Post-Covid-19 Rehabilitation Strategies.

By speaking about Post-Covid-19 Rehabilitation Strategies, we do not mean that the coronavirus pandemic is over.  We just mean that in our mind set COVID-19 is a reality but not a fiction.  We have to understand it and live in the COVID-19 environment until a medicine and vaccine are found against it. 

So, the idea of the existence of COVID-19 has been already passed in our mind set.  What we need to do is to develop strategies to restore our work while taking into account the new coronavirus-led environment or reality.  In this respect, we are trying to Build Back Better our lives through a Build-Back-Better Campaign.

There are two strands of thought (or strategies). There are COVID-19 initiatives that we took (and continue to take) that are related to our work in the UK.  One can call it Post-COVID-19 Rehabilitation Strategy One.  There is a set of COVID-19 campaigning initiatives that have been linked to our work in Africa. This can be considered as our Post-COVID-19 Rehabilitation Strategy Two.  Since the coronavirus is a global pandemic, there are links between the two strategies.


• • Covid-19 Campaign under the Second Lockdown


Idealistically speaking, the phase of rehabilitation strategies would have happened once the COVID-19 is nearly over.  It means that when the epidemiological curve of the COVID-19 symptoms and infections is flattening and gearing towards recovery point and stayed parallel with the line of axis or below the recovery point.

Yet, in the current situation of the virus this is not happening.  We are instead witnessing spikes of the coronavirus pandemic to the extent that we are gearing towards new waves of lockdown or local lockdowns in some parts of the world including in the UK and Africa. At the beginning of Autumn, we spoke about sinusoidal Autumn, meaning rises and decreases in the epidemiological curves of the coronavirus pandemic.

This situation poses a dilemma which is: how to rehabilitate economies and lives while keeping tight fight against the coronavirus pandemic?

The answer to this question or dilemma could vary.  There are many options available. 

1) One could learn from the mistakes and experiences from the methods and tools applied so far.  Then, one can try to redevelop or develop a clear rehabilitation strategy with new goals and improved tools to continue the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. 

2) One can also have a clever or prudent combination of both smart health restrictions/rules and the implementation of rehabilitation works. 

3) There could be a need to continue applying the shadowing model of following the epidemiological curves (“epi-curves”) of the coronavirus pandemic while undertaking the rehabilitation work as planned in a given rehabilitation strategy.   

The third option or way of proceeding could be about building back better while matching the efforts of building back better to that of rehabilitating the economy and lives in need by using the shadowing framework or model.

In all these options, the human behaviour could be the most determining factor.  One can have the technology to map out or trace the virus; however if humans are still behaving in the way that does not help to reduce the spread of the virus, the technology could be very limited to solve the problem unless a medicine or vaccine is found.

The above suggestions or options are neither a definite process nor an end in itself; as they are only some of the possible ways of approaching or looking at rehabilitation phase of our Campaign of Resilience against the Coronavirus Pandemic, especially as some places of the world enters the second or third or fourth lockdown.

For more on COVID-19 Campaign by CENFACS and in-depth discussion about our rehabilitation strategy to use during the second lockdown, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.



Extra Messages


• Be.Africa Debate: The Hypothesis of Recoverability of the Economy and Health from the Coronavirus Pandemic


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten and destroy lives, there is a disagreement between those who believe that health should come first and those who think that the economy matters the most.  This disagreement has become hot since many places have gone into further shock waves or spikes of coronavirus, which have led to further lockdowns.  This disagreement or discontent has spilled over to reach not-for-profit making organisations as well. 

As a matter of fact, it is known that there should not be a choice between the economy and health.  There should be instead a fair balance between the need to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the necessity to keep the economy functioning and stable.

Yet, there are those who think the economy is recoverable whereas a lost human life is not recoverable.  There are those who argue the opposite. There are those who are in the middle as they support the hypothesis of recoverability for both the economy and health.

In this debate, we do not know what many of our Africa-based Sister Organisations really think.  For those who are interested in this discussion, they can share their views on the hypothesis of recoverability of the economy and health in face of the coronavirus pandemic.

To share your views, just contact CENFACS





• Triple Value Recreational Activities to Manage the Second Lockdown

How to improve the use of Triple Value Recreational Activities during the second lockdown


Since many places (including England) are back in the COVID-19 lockdown, it makes sense to e-work with the community to keep it active and engaged at this extremely difficult and worrying time of the coronavirus shock waves. 


• • Learning and development from the first lockdown

What did we learn from the first lockdown? 

It may be too early to draw the lessons from the first lockdown in terms of keeping ourselves active and engaged from the health and economic points of view.  It is still possible to remember the activities we suggested; learn from them and develop similar activities to respond to the second lockdown.  In fact everybody has their own experience from the first lockdown.  For those who applied the Triple Value Recreational Activities, they can repeat the previous exercises we provided during the first lockdown and use them for the second lockdown.


• • Use (or reuse) of Triple Value Recreational Activities in the second lockdown

The recreational activities we provided for the first lockdown are still helpful and or relevant for this second lockdown.  Where there could be a need to adapt or change them to the new situation, people should not hesitate to do so to stay active, fit and engaged during the re-confinement period. 

When using these activities, it is recommended to stick to the statutory restrictions regarding meeting one other outside (e.g. your support bubble) for Triple Value recreational activities; or doing Triple Value exercises either with household members or one person from another household.

Those who do not remember these activities, they can get in touch with CENFACS so that we can update them on these activities.  Likewise, we shall post any new activities if we develop a new package of support during the second lockdown. 

In the meantime, please STAY HEALTHY AND SAFE!   




• Skills Data Bank


As part of our Skills Development Month, we would like to let you know that you can register your skills to our data bank; which is repository containing information about CENFACS and the data of the CENFACS’ Community.  The register is free.  Skills and information are stored on it following the new data protection regulations.

Knowing the skills that one possesses, it makes easy when opportunity arises to match them with registered skills.  It also helps to point those in need of support to the right and relevant a skilful person and direction. 

To register your skills to make up the CENFACS’ Community of skilled people, please contact CENFACS.



Main Development


The Month of the Economics of Education and Skill Formation (Skills Development Month) and the Second Lockdown


• • Month of November within CENFACS


• • • Month of November in CENFACS development calendar/planner 

November at CENFACS is the month of education and training; which revolves around the development of skills for life, for work, for poverty relief and sustainable development.  It is the month during which we look into ourselves and try to assess, explore and learn the skills we need in order to help further reduce poverty in a sustainable way amongst ourselves and re-engage with the business of sustainable development. 


• • • How exceptional is this November 2020?

This year, November is exceptionally a month for skills formation and development in the area of the fight against the health and economic threats and effects posed by the coronavirus pandemic.  It is also the month of the skills to manage the second lockdown.  In other words, besides any skill one needs to use and or acquire, they also have to form and develop abilities to fight the coronavirus pandemic and to manage the second lockdown caused by the continuing adverse effects of the same coronavirus pandemic.


• • • November as a training implementation month

November is further the training implementation month during which educationally related projects or projects that involve training, skills development and acquisition of new knowledge to help users and our Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs) to empower themselves with the educational tools and training resources they need to further help reduce poverty.  One of the skills development project to support ASOs is skills to work from home or distance learning and working skills during the pandemic and lockdown times.


• • • Poverty as a lack of skills and knowledge

We all know that poverty is not only material or the lack of monetary income; it is even more the lack of knowledge, skills, knowhow and technologies than anything else.   Therefore, knowing and learning a skill can help to further reduce poverty, particularly but not exclusively sanitation poverty caused by the COVID-19, and set one on the right course of the development process. 

We strive to support those who want to learn a skill while we at CENFACS as an organisation plan our own training, learning and development programme from time to time when we can access both funding and training.  

The November 2020 focus will be on enhancing skills to manage health uncertainty and economic hardships linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the second lockdown.


Skills to Manage Health Uncertainty and Economic Hardships


This year, for the Skills Development Month, we are going to focus on two areas where difficulties can come from for those in need.  These areas are:

1/ The prolong health uncertainty linked to the coronavirus pandemic and its continuing health and economic threats and impacts

2/ The financial pressure posed by the first and second lockdowns for families on very modest incomes

Although these two are the selected issues for this Skills Development Month, there are other issues that continue to impact the lives of these families; issues such as the exit from a regional economic bloc like in the case of the UK from the EU economic bloc, ways for these families to cover the expenses of the end of the year’s festivities under the constraint of the coronavirus pandemic, extra expenses to follow COVID-19 restrictions, etc.

Nonetheless, the two selected issues require from those in most pressing life-sustaining needs to develop skills to meet them.  Our Skills Development Month will therefore concentrate on the skills and capacities that those living in poverty need in order to less painfully manage health uncertainty and economic hardships linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the second lockdown.  This is our general focus for this 2020 Month of the Economics of Education and Skill Formation (November Skills Development).

Within this general November interest, we have planned weekly skills focus.  In other words, from Wednesday of each week of November 2020, we shall have skills set to focus on.  The following plan is our Wednesdays’ skills focus:


Wednesdays’ Skills Focus

All these management, survival, coping and creative skills will make our November Skills Development activities; skills revolving around the need to make ends meet during the health and economic uncertainty and threats as we approach the end of the year.  This is despite the fact we know that there could be a gap between the time people learn a particular skill on one hand, and  the time they apply this skill to solve their poverty and hardship problem on the other.

The November 2020 skills are as well the ones that can be used beyond these two specific circumstances, particularly in other conditions of life and work when they are required to meet the challenge of poverty and of the coronavirus pandemic.


In Focus from Wednesday 04/11/2020: Skills to Manage COVID-19 Health and Economic Uncertainty and Threats


• • Skills to Manage Health and Economic Uncertainty and Threats during the First Lockdown


Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out and during the first lockdown, the majority of people managed to develop or applied some forms of ability to deal with the coronavirus-related health issues to stop the spread of the virus.  The majority of people also tried to use some economic skills to respond to the economic challenges it has posed.  Additionally, other people tried to use both health and economic skills to handle both the health and economic threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic.


• • Skills to Manage Health and Economic Uncertainty and Threats during the Second Lockdown


Although we are in the second shock wave of COVID-19 and lockdown, people can still apply the same skills that worked for them so far.  They can as well add new health-related skills or improve their skills to continue the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.  Likewise, they can reuse economic skills of the first lockdown, just as they can redevelop new ones to respond to the economic pressure brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

As far as CENFACS is concerned, we shall support the CENFACS’ Community, particularly those who want to develop their skills to manage the health and economic uncertainty and threats of the moment.  However, one should bear in mind that due to the lockdown and limitations on our capacity, our skills support will be mostly done by distance or online.  Like everybody, we are only handling essential support and service at this turbulent time of the coronavirus shock wave and second lockdown.   

In addition to this essential service for the second lockdown, we developed a lot of resources during the first shock wave of the coronavirus and lockdown.  People can still use these resources for the second lockdown. 

As said above, those who would like to register their skills on CENFACS Skills Data Bank, they are welcome to do so.  This regsitration can help in matching the skills suport and the needs in the community.

To get further insight into Skills Development Month at CENFACS, please continue to read our weekly posts.


Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.

We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis.  Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service. 

One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the future.

Donate to support CENFACS!

FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/


Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.

With many thanks.


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