Education International‘s (EI) 8th Africa Regional Conference
Mr. Basil Manuel, President of NAPTOSA, led the NAPTOSA delegation to the Education International‘s (EI) 8th Africa Regional Conference which was held from the 3 – 6 February 2015.
Under the theme of ‘Achieving Quality Education in Africa: Prospects and Challenges Beyond 2015,’ Education International’s (EI) 8th Africa Regional Conference officially kicked-off from the 4 February 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya.
In his opening remarks, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, said that his country must “ensure that the quality of education meets the basic requirements for human capital development”. Acknowledging the importance of quality education, from Early Childhood Education to tertiary studies and research, the president added that governments and educators must maintain a solid partnership to drive quality education agenda.
Quality education only possible with quality teaching
Reiterating Kenyatta, EI’s General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen stressed that “there is no quality education without quality teaching, and there is no quality teaching without highly motivated, well trained and well paid teachers.” However, he noted that an increasing number of teachers in Africa are being forced to work on limited-term contracts for shrinking salaries and resources, increased work-loads, less professional development and are losing autonomy.
“If national governments are serious about improving education, then they need to start listening to teachers. Teachers know what students need to succeed,” he said.
Thematic breakout sessions focused on: Early Childhood Education; the Higher Education and Research Network; the Communication and Organising Network; the Education and Solidarity Network; and the Global Campaign for Education, the Global Partnership in Education and Local Education Groups target the major education issues in Africa.
Women’s and girl’s education under the spotlight
The Conference was preceded by a women’s roundtable on 2 February, where Ms Glenda Boyes of NAPTOSA presented an engaging workshop on diversity and inclusion in quality education.
The Conference was attended by more than 450 delegates and observers, representing 52 countries, 130 teachers and education workers’ organisations from Africa, Europe and North America, Global Union Federations, as well as education stakeholders and governmental and non-governmental organisations.