African Education Observatory in the making
The African Education Observatory of the African Union Commission is one step closer to becoming a reality.
A validation meeting for the legal framework of the Observatory was organized from 21-22 September 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with participation of regional economic communities, UN agencies including UNESCO Dakar, and other stakeholders.
They examined the mandate the Observatory would carry forward and revised the draft document of its statutes.
“The creation of an African Education Observatory is an important step in co-ordinating and harmonising the Education Management Information Systems in Africa, which is so much needed,” says Lily Hailu, education planning specialist who represented UNESCO Dakar at the meeting.
Reverse the ‘data blank’
In fact, one of the major areas of focus of the Second Decade of Education for Africa Plan of Action (2006-2015) is the development of functional continental Educational Management Information Systems (EMIS).
The aim is to reverse the phenomenon of ‘data blank’ and facilitate systematic planning, monitoring and evaluation.
It is hoped that the new Observatory will also ensure harmonised education indicators and databases to help monitor progress towards the goals of the Second Decade’s Action Plan (2006-2015).
“UNESCO has expertise in data analysis, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation that could support the Education Observatory,” says Hailu.
The legal framework for the Observatory will now be finalized and reviewed by the Conference of Ministers of Education in Africa (COMEDAF) before submission to the African Union Summit in July 2012.