Advancing the right to education in Cameroon

In order to align the new Sector Strategy for Education and Training (SSET) of Cameroon with the SDG 4- Education 2030 Agenda, the UNESCO Office in Yaoundé, in cooperation with the National Commission of Cameroon for UNESCO, organized from 6-8 June 2018 in Yaoundé, a National Consultation Workshop of stakeholders in education.

The 3-day National Consultation Workshop brought together approximately 200 participants and commenced with an opening ceremony in the presence of Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Youssouf Hadidja Alim. Participants included representatives of the various technical ministries involved, the parliament, technical and financial partners, representatives of civil society, NGOs, opinion leaders and teachers. A thematic Working Group was specifically devoted to the right to education, to discuss the legal gaps of the current national legislations and regulations inhibiting the full realization of the right to education and the achievement of SDG 4. The Working Group, chaired by Hon. Marlyse Douala Bell, member of the National Assembly and the Education and Youth Commission, provided the unique opportunity for participants to raise key issues that Cameroon faces with regard to achieving an inclusive, equitable and quality education for all. Recommendations were formulated in order to reinforce the institutional and legal framework by identifying the most urgent legal reforms that need to be undertaken.

The Working Group agreed upon key steps of a Roadmap in order to follow-up on the discussions and recommendations made, with the aim to produce a country Report on the right to education to serve as a basis for future legislative reforms.

This initiative in Cameroon falls within a larger scope of reviewing the legal frameworks of the countries of the Central African Region. The Nairobi Declaration and Call for Action on Education created a new momentum within Africa, with countries seeking to align their legal framework with SDG 4 Education 2030 commitments. UNESCO stands ready to provide technical assistance and strengthening of national capacities.