14.12.2011 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Accelerating the Plan of Action of Second Decade of Education for Africa

© ADEAPanelists at the Mid-Decade review of the AU's Second Decade of Education in Africa

There are four years left to collectivity meet the eight goals of the Plan of Action of the Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2015).  A

mid-term review was tabled during a recent meeting in Mauritius (24-25 November 2011) organized by the African Union Commission.

The aim was to take stock of progress so far and to define priorities and proven approaches to accelerate progress towards the goals for the remaining years of the decade.

The eight goals are: gender and culture, education management and information systems, teacher training, higher education, technical and vocational education, curriculum and educational materials.  

Alignment of UNESCO programmes

UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa participated in the meeting together with a number of key partners including the Association of Education in Africa (ADEA), UNICEF and representatives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

“As the only Organization who has a mandate and expertise in all eight priority areas of the Plan of Action UNESCO is committed to support the African Union Commission and its partners by providing technical expertise and capacity development in the priority areas,” said Lily Hailu, who represented UNESCO at the meeting.

She noted that the directive outlined by the Director General of UNESCO in the Memorandum of Understanding with the African Union calls for the alignment of UNESCO’s education programmes with the objectives of the Second Decade. The mid-term review draws on three levels of analysis: the national level, the level of RECs, and international partners.

It covers the key achievements and challenges of the eight priority areas for action and suggests recommendations for actions to be taken by various stakeholders at the three levels of analysis.

Creating a favorable climate for investments

Mr. R. Jeetah, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Technology of Mauritius, told the meeting that his country’s efforts to promote education has increased the per capita income of $100 in 1960 to $8000 today.  

“The government pursues a policy of continuous development of the education sector education with the goal of having at least one university graduate in every family,” he said. “The quality of education will guarantee the existence of an efficient private sector, a strong society and more importantly it will create a favorable climate for investments in the country”.

The Executive Director of ADEA, Mr. Byll-Cataria called on African nations to recognize the efforts, experiences and successes of small states like Mauritius and Cape Verde. “They are considered excellent examples of good governance in Africa, as both countries have achieved very good results in the development of their education systems,” he said.

The way forward

The continent is at a crossroads that requires its citizens to work harder, to avoid conflicts and to facilitate its people, especially youth, to contribute effectively to sustainable development, Byll-Cataria said.  

“Africa needs to achieve results,” he added. ADEA is holding its triennial meeting in 2012 on the theme of Education and Training for Sustainable Development in Africa. The triennial meeting will take place from 12 to 17 February in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

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