22.10.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Opening of Ministerial Meeting to accelerate Education for All in Africa

The Minister of Education of Angola, Mr Pinda Simao, opened on 21 October 2013 the Ministerial segment of the 2nd Education For All (EFA) Regional meeting under the Big Push initiative in Luanda, Angola.

The meeting, marked by a colorful opening ceremony with traditional Angolan music and dance, brought together Ministers, Vice Ministers or representatives from 15 African countries as well as partners such as FAWE, ADEA, CONFEMEN, OSISA, ANCEFA, members of the UN system in Angola and other dignitaries from the different ministries in Angola.

Mr Simao underscored the strong leadership taken by the Angolan government in the big push process by hosting the 2nd Regional EFA Meeting which comprised a 3-day Technical Segment and this 2-day Ministerial Segment.

An unfinished business

“The EFA goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are still relevant and an unfinished business for Africa,” said Mr Pinda in his welcoming remarks. He lamented the lack of qualified teachers and quality learning. Education is an enabler, a basic human right and as a human right it is fundamental in realizing other rights, the Angolan Education Minister added.

He called for strong national ownership and leadership, the need to listen to the voice of children and youths in the big push process to ensure effective acceleration of the EFA goals in Sub Saharan Africa.

Concrete follow up

Olav Seim, Director of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Partnerships Team, recalled that in the global education meeting in UNESCO in November 2012, Education Ministers called for urgent action to accelerate progress of the six EFA goals.

“This meeting is a concrete follow up to this plea. African countries attending the meeting are signing up for the EFA acceleration compact,” he said.

Mr Seim commended UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar for taking a strong role in guiding the process noting that no other region has witnessed such a systematic and structured manner.

Other speakers included the UNFPA Representative in Angola who pointed out progress made through the strong partnership in the implementation process.

Launch of new report on literacy

One of the highlights of the Ministerial meeting was the official launching of the Global Report on Adult Literacy and Education (GRALE) by the Deputy Director of UNESCO’s Institute for Adult Education and Life Long Learning (UIL) Carolyn Ananoueva.

In her presentation of the GRALE under the theme Rethinking Literacy Ms. AN explained that the GRALE is a result of assessments made by governments on the status of adult education in 141 countries in the world with reports received from 34 African countries.

The report looks at literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning, taking into perspective how to put governance structures in place as well as the definitions of literacy among other issues covered.

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