4 March 2022, Kigali (Rwanda) – The Economic Commission for Africa and the Rwandan government hosted the eighth session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, which gave a rare opportunity for sister UN agencies and other partner organizations to present their work. On the 4th of March, UNECSO hosted a parallel conference to examine progress and peer learning on the sub-theme of quality education.
The meeting acted as a forum for peer learning on the implementation of the African Union’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, with a focus on quality education. The meeting also attempted to identify, articulate, and agree on essential messages, such as policy alternatives and initiatives for moving the Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 ahead more effectively and quickly.
Experts bemoaned the fact that, despite advances, Africa’s out-of-school population remains high.
“Some progress has been made in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) education, but much more remains to be done, as the sector lacks financing, suffers from limited strategic thinking, and has misconceptions about TVET education,” said UNESCO’s Seidu Jallow, who presented a paper titled: Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016–2025.
“In the educational setting, teachers are extremely important. “The continent has a teacher shortage that must be addressed as soon as possible if we are to fulfill the SDG4 target by 2030,” Mr Jallow said, adding that the “Covid19 pandemic destabilized education systems, forcing most nations to close their schools for varied periods of time.”
As a result, the gathering provided an opportunity for attendees to conduct open talks and make proposals for improving African education.
Investment in TVET, prioritizing education financing, expanding public-private partnerships, promoting inclusive education, improving value-based education, implementing school food and nutrition programs, teacher training, and school supply investment are among them.
“Everyone benefits from a good education.” Ester-Anna-Lisa-Shiwoomwe Nghipondoka, Namibia’s Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, stated, “We need a good foundation for our youngsters in order to not hamper them in subsequent phases of their lives.”
“In Africa, it is necessary to go towards quality education, and this is our niche in the Central African Republic,” stated Aboubakar Moukadas Noure, Minister of National Education of the Central African Republic. He emphasized the importance of the basic cycle as well as teacher training.”
Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Aboubakar Moukadas Noure, Minister of National Education, Central African Republic, Aboubakar Moukadas Noure, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Namibia, Ester-Anna-Lisa-Shiwoomwe Nghipondoka, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mauritius, Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Commissioner, Prof. Mohamed Belhocine, Commissioner, ESTI, AUC; Louise Macquet, Microsoft Corporation, Middle East & Africa; and Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, Director of the Rwandan Higher Education Council.
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