19.10.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

ECOWAS validates UNESCO's regional initiatives on technical and vocational education

The 15 countries of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Western Africa, want to play a much greater role in UNESCO’s work to promote technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the sub-region.

 During the recent 4th Meeting of Education Experts and Ministers in ECOWAS (1-6 October 2012), it was decided to establish an appropriate institutional framework to conduct formal recognition of IATT, the Inter Agency Task Team on the revitalization of TVET in the ECOWAS sub-region, in which UNESCO plays with UNDP a key role.

The idea is also to form national IATT structures involving national and development partners.

They also decided to produce a directory of all institutions of the sub-region involved in technical and vocational education and training to facilitate exchange and cooperation.

Qualifications across borders

Finally they agreed to validate and consolidate the work currently underway by IATT to support the development of National and Regional Qualification Frameworks that will also allow for recognition of skills and qualifications among countries and across borders.

“We are delighted,” says Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar. “The Ministers endorsed and appreciated with ECOWAS Commission the work that UNESCO Dakar has done to revitalize TVET in the sub-region and we look forward to intensifying our collaboration in this key area,” she added.

Hervé Huot-Marchand, TVET Programme Specialist at UNESCO Dakar, comments that “the meeting was successfully in enhancing the regional integration among ECOWAS countries and in developing a more responsive and revitalized TVET for youth employment".

The ECOWAS meeting also expressed their strong support to a Manual on Peace Education, a major project coordinated by UNESCO. The Ministers agreed on ensuring a large dissemination throughout the 15 member states.

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