08.05.2015 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Guinea-Bissau’s Minister of Education visits UNESCO Dakar

Director of UNESCO-Dakar with the Bissau-Guinea Education Minister meeting with representatives of the Italian Development Cooperation in Dakar© UNESCO/A. Yonemura

The Minister of Education of Guinea-Bissau, Mrs. Maria Odete da Costa Semedo, and a team of national education experts attended a two-week workshop from 13-24 April 2015 to prepare the country’s 10- year education plan, in such areas as financing and partnership for all levels of education.

The workshop was organized by IIEP-Pole de Dakar and UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar to give insights into the use of simulations models to build the education sector plan.

Visit to Senegal’s Minister of Education

On 24 April 2015, UNESCO arranged several courtesy visits for the Guinea-Bissau Education Minister. During a meeting with the Senegal’s Minister of Education, M. Serigne Mbaye Thiam, they exchanged on major education challenges in the two countries and discussed potential areas of collaboration. The Ministers talked the importance of functional literacy and professional training for youth to enhance their qualifications and agreed that some experiences in Senegal can be shared with Guinea-Bissau.

Visit to the Italian Development Cooperation

UNESCO Dakar also accompanied Ms Da Costa Semedo to meet with representatives of the Italian Development Cooperation in Dakar, Mr. Pasqualino Procacci, Director and Ms. Virginia Tiziana, Bruzzone, Technical Assistant. They discussed a major UNESCO project in Guinea-Bissau entitled “Improvement of teacher qualification and setting up of a system for the management of learning outcomes”, which is financed by the Government of Italy.

The Minister thanked the generous support of the Italian Government and expressed her commitment to tackle the educational challenges in the country after the interruption during the years of conflict.

Progress so far

This project started in 2009 and the first phase was successfully completed in 2010. The second phase was temporarily interrupted due to the political instability, but now with the new government in place since 2014, the implementation is back on track, and the second phase of the project is expected to be achieved by the end of 2015.

The project is implemented through the National Institute of Educational Development (INDE) in close collaboration with UNICEF, which is the lead actor of the education sector in Guinea-Bissau and the manager of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) fund. The African Development Bank (AfDB) is also involved in the project.

Two separate teacher training modules developed by UNESCO and the AfDB have been harmonized, and in-service teacher training using these harmonized modules, have been put in place for the primary level. 440 teachers received in-service training during the first phase of the project. UNESCO expects that the training will be extended to the secondary-level teachers.

The Director of the Italian Development Cooperation welcomed the Minister and UNESCO and re-iterated that education is a priority for the Italian Government and expressed their continuoussupport to the country’s educational development.

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