East African education ministers commit to action on Education for All
Governments must put more effort towards meeting Education for All (EFA) by 2015, according to the Mombasa Call for Action, a renewed commitment to accelerate progress towards achievement of EFA. It was adopted by education ministers from the East Africa region at the Eastern Africa High Level Forum on EFA (Mombasa, Kenya, 13-14 September).
The Declaration also recommended better coordination among countries to address challenges in achieving all the EFA goals.
With less than four years remaining to the target year for achieving EFA, the ministers noted that governments need evidence-based policies and plans geared at addressing the identified challenges and gaps in order to accelerate progress towards achievement of the goals by the set date. In addition, countries must begin now to plan beyond 2015.
With UNESCO support, some countries have embarked on national end-of-decade assessments of EFA. Kenya has already produced a preliminary report of its assessment. “We wish to use the assessment to build internal capacity in the use of evidence for policy, planning and monitoring,” said Hon. Prof. Sam K. Ongeri, Minister of Education, Kenya, and Chair of the Conference of the Ministers of Education in Africa.
Speaking on education financing, Dr Qian Tang, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, said, “The relative importance given to education by donors has declined, in a context of economic slowdown. It is estimated that the resources available for education in sub-Saharan Africa may have fallen by US$4.6 billion a year on average in 2009 and 2010.” He noted that this was jeopardizing the strong advances made over the past decade.
The ministers endorsed the call to increase financial allocations to the education sector and called upon all actors to increase their investments in education and to ensure efficient and effective use of resources. They also agreed to develop national roadmaps for addressing gaps and to create capacities in preparation for the 2015 review. They further agreed to meet on an annual basis to review progress and share experiences.
Speech by Sam Ongeri, Minister of Education of Kenya