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Africa firm resolve on education

Irene Githinji @gitshee

African nations have committed to improve education access by reducing the number of out-of-school children and boost uptake of adults education.

Access to and quality of education and training at all levels remain key challenges in Africa, with millions of children out of school and youth lacking skills and relevant competencies. Statistics indicate Africa has the highest number of children out of school, globally.

It is against that backdrop that at the close of the three-day Pan African Conference on Education (PACE) in Nairobi on Friday, Education ministers and other stakeholders came up with a 17-point declaration to improve the sector.

The ‘Nairobi Declaration’ outlines policy actions and initiatives African governments should undertake to align education policies, goals and plans to the Sustainable Development Goals and Continental Strategy for Education in Africa 2016-2025 (CESA).

It also calls for the need to improve quality of teacher and student training. The ministers committed to promoting quality lifelong learning for all at all levels, using diverse and relevant modes of learning with flexible pathways between formal, non-formal and informal education to cater for all children and adults.

They also called for adequate recruitment and deployment, motivation and professional support of teachers and to strengthen teacher training and professional development programmes all levels of learning.

Education Cabinet secretary, Amina Mohamed called for the need to promote access to quality and equitable education at all levels, while facilitating inclusion of the marginalised, vulnerable and learners with special needs to ensure no one is left behind.

“African governments should promote skills development through basic education and training institutions to facilitate growth, technological transformation, trade and development,” said the CS Adoption of mother-tongue as the medium of instruction in schools, especially in early learning, was identified as the best way to boost education standards in the continent.

The minister also want a learning assessment system developed and strengthened to ensures effective use of teaching and learning practices. President Uhuru Kenyatta closed the conference.

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