- When: 9 Nov 2021 at 08:00 AM in (EDT)
- How to Join: Click here to Register
This event is jointly organized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, IPC-IG.
The progress of Africa’s children is the progress of the world. By the middle of this century, the continent will be home to a billion children and adolescents under 18 years of age, almost 40 per cent of all children and adolescents in the 0-18 age group worldwide. Education is a critical means for African countries to leverage their human capital and reap the benefits of a “demographic dividend” of increased economic productivity. Despite substantial progress made in getting children into school for 20 years, Africa is still facing many challenges: insecurity, poor learning outcomes, and a deficit in qualified teachers, among others. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when these challenges are magnified, some African countries responded in innovative ways, including offering remote learning through a combination of low-cost and/ or high-tech solutions. To some degree, the pandemic provides an opportunity to reimagine education in Africa, including safe, healthy and inclusive schools, greater use of digital technologies, and teachers who are well trained to bring these technologies to life to help children learn.
UNESCO’s snapshot of educational challenges and opportunities for recovery in Africa provides an overview of the African context in view of the recent COVID-19 crisis and its impacts on education. In particular, it highlights the challenges experienced and responses made based on sub-regional data. It further analyses the African pandemic experience within the general regional education context and provides shorter- to longer-term recommendations for future planning to mitigate the crisis and strengthen efforts towards the achievement of the continent’s educational, social and economic aspirations.
On 20th September 2021, the African Union Commission and UNICEF jointly organized a High-Level Event on ‘Reimagining Education in Africa’ at the margins of the 76th UN General Assembly. This event was attended by 20 Ministers of Education across Africa, important global education partners and overall 160 participants. Five Ministers shared the efforts of governments to keep the learning going during the COVID-19 school closures, and education partners discussed the partnership for innovative learning solutions. In the Closing Session, eight specific recommendations to support transforming education systems in Africa were presented: for instance, prioritize digital connectivity for learning and skills development; prioritize teacher training, including digital skills for pedagogy.
In addition, UNESCO’s Futures of Education Initiative is catalyzing a global debate on how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet. It relies on a broad, open consultative process that involves youth, educators, civil society, governments, businesses and other stakeholders. The work is guided by a high-level International Commission of thought-leaders from diverse fields and different regions of the world under the leadership of the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Her Excellency President Sahle-Work Zewde.
South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC), mentioned in SDG17 as one of the partnership modalities for delivering the 2030, plays an important role in increasing timely access to relevant solutions, experiences and technical assistance, and strengthening cooperation among countries. Through SSTC, African countries are turning to each other or countries outside the continent for sustained collaboration. At the 20th meeting of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation held in June 2021 and the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation held in September 2021, many African countries called for greater sharing of good practices and knowledge through SSTC in priority areas including child and adolescent education. They invited UN agencies to continue to support and promote SSTC, along with other partnership modalities.
This global webinar intends to bring together practitioners from governments, development agencies and other institutions in African countries as well as across different regions of the global South to discuss on “reimagining education in Africa”, with the overall aim to enable a global exchange of knowledge and experiences and to facilitate the transfer of solutions on this thematic area through South-South and triangular cooperation and country to country learning.
- Provide a platform for stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities for African countries in ensuring quality and relevant education for all children and young people in the context of COVID-19 and the post-pandemic period.
- Promote country-to-country learning on actions, experiences, lessons learned and good practices on ensuring the continuity of education in the context of COVID-19.
- Discuss how governments, development agencies, international organizations and other stakeholders can build partnerships, transfer solutions and increase access to technical cooperation and resources through SSTC in reimagining and transforming education systems in Africa towards 2030.
- Mr. F. Edouard Matoko, Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations, UNESCO
- Mr. Gwang-Chol Chang, Chief of Education Policy Section at UNESCO
- Mr. Nicolas Reuge, Senior Advisor Education at UNICEF
- Mr. Enoch Rabotapi, Chief Director, Department of Basic Education, South Africa
- Mr. Davide Ruscelli, Project Coordinator, UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa
- Ms. Idalina Rodrigues, Imaginecole Coordinator, UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa
- Ms. Najoua Bada, Projects and Human Resources Manager, KOICA Morocco
- Mr. Andrés Franco, Deputy Director Multilateral Partnerships, Public Partnerships Division, UNICEF