29.05.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Workshop on education statistics for 22 Central and West African countries

Participants at the workshop ©UNESCO/Tine Ismaël

The need for reliable statistics is more important than ever before to inform governments to make wise decisions and necessary trade-offs, said Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, the Director of UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar. She spoke during the opening of a sub-regional workshop on education statistics for West and Central Africa (28-31 May 2013) in Dakar (Senegal).

Organized by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the four-day workshop gathered statisticians and education planners from 22 countries (list below).

“In today’s world, the crucial role of statistics in economic and social sector management is well established. Statistics are at the heart whether governments want to curb unemployment or inflation or orient policies against poverty. They are also required to follow the progress towards goals and measure effectiveness and relevancy challenges ahead,” Ndong-Jatta said.

She made reference to the poor performance displayed by some developing countries including those in the African Region, to achieve the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The problem, she said, is that statistical systems in sub-Saharan Africa faces several challenges that hinder its contribution to economic and social development. “These problems mainly concern the lack of human capacity and insufficient production of quality statistical information for policy-makers, as well as limited use of socio-economic studies to guide public policy,” she said.

National staff is key

Capacity building of national staff is key to success and one of the priorities of the medium-term strategy of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics is precisely to train national staff in charge of statistics. The workshop aims to:

  • Strengthen the capacity of participants to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)
  • Update the mapping of national educational systems according to the new ISCED 2011.
  • Share the recent results of the use of regional modules
  • Take stock of the coverage of various UIS questionnaires and the quality of data;
  • Discuss the capacity of national information systems to reply to the UIS questionnaires, especially in Higher Education;
  • Collect comments on pending amendments to the section A and C of the UIS questionnaire.

“I hope that by the end of this workshop, you will be more convinced than ever of the need to engage in a proactive policy that promotes management tools that are suited to meet the vast ambitions of our continent,” the Director of UNESCO Dakar told the participants. “I also hope that you will get involved more than ever in solving the problems in the field of statistics upon your return,” she added.

Participating countries are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Cape Verde, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Guinea Equatorial, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Sao Tome et Principe, Senegal, Chad and Togo

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