15.04.2005 General News

Osafo-Maafo returns from Algiers

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Accra, April 15, GNA - Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, has returned home after attending the 2nd Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union member states, held in Algiers, Algeria, from April 8 - 11, this year.

The conference took stock of education on the continent in preparation for the 6th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State of the African Union scheduled for January, next year, which will be devoted to Education and Culture.

The Conference, which was organised under the auspices of the AU Commission recognized the vital importance of prioritising quality education for sustainable development and the promotion of Africa's competitiveness in the global arena.

A statement the Ministry issued on Friday said the conference noted that in spite of progress already made in the education sector, successes achieved were still modest and that accelerated efforts must be made at national, sub-regional, regional and continental levels to attain the goals of the Dakar Education for All Framework for Action the Millennium Development Goals.

It said the AU Ministers of Education pledged the strong political commitment of African governments to education through the allocation of at least 20 per cent of their national budget to the sector and to take all the necessary measures to make primary education free and compulsory for all children of African.

The statement said the Ministers, among other things, committed themselves to ensure the provision of quality teacher training and continuous professional development and teacher exchange programmes within Africa.

They also said they would strengthen and diversify the provision of technical and vocational education and training and skills development as well as ensure that Adult and Non-Formal Education were given greater priority in view of Africa's illiterate, out-of-school populations which remained disadvantaged and marginalized.

In the light of these commitments the ministers agreed to recommend to the Assembly of the African Union in consultation with the various Regional Economic Communities to immediately carry out an evaluation of the Decade of Education in Africa (1997-2006) the basis on which the new challenges confronting education in Africa, a new Plan of Action for the second Decade for Education would be developed, the statement added.

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