The 2018 Pan African Conference on Education (PACE) that took place in Nairobi came to an end on 27th April. The three-day conference brought together more than 40 Ministers of Education from African countries. The conference worked under the theme equitable inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. The attendants discussed the state of African education. This was against international, regional and national commitments.
The Minister developed a 17-point declaration that states the initiatives and policy actions that should be taken by African states. This was aimed at aligning the Education goals, plans and policies to the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25) and Sustainable Development Goals,2030. The ministers committed themselves to ensure enough recruitment and deployment, professional support and motivation of teachers. They also agreed to strengthen teachers training.
The Ministers also committed themselves to develop programs at each level including informal education, childhood education, increasing dialogue and partnership with teacher organizations. Recognizing teachers as a complete profession, agreeing on common qualification grounds, and making teaching environment healthy safe and inclusive were some of the points that were agreed upon during the conference. The later was to be attained through adequate response to school-related discrimination and violence based on origin, gender, disability, ethnicity, race and region among other factors.
The Minister agreed to increase an equal access to quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in all forms. They also aimed at recognizing that TVET should check on learning. This was to done via versatility, entrepreneurship, capacity building, retraining and employability. Furthermore, they agreed to promote teaching and learning in mother tongue more so in early years of education. They also committed themselves to come up with policies to protect and raise the status, value and esteem of indigenous languages in Africa.
The conference was officially closed by Amb. Amina Mohammed, Kenyan Education Cabinet Secretary. Amina asked African states to ensure the development of skills via basic education and training institutions to enable technological transformation, growth and development. She added that the main focus was on Education For All (EFA) initiative. This was to go on by ensuring access to quality and affordable education. She also said that there was a need to consider the inclusion of marginalized, learners with special needs and vulnerable ones. She was flanked by the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education Firm in Edouard Matoko, and Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology African Union Commission Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor.