Developing African teachers’ skills for quality education
The status, training initiatives and opportunities for teacher development in Africa were all up for discussion at the Pan African Conference on Teacher Development (PACTED III). The conference, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 16-17 July, also sought that EI be recognized as a partner in the implementation and coordination of PACTED.
EI Vice-President Irene Duncan Adanusa and Peter Mabande from EI’s Pan African Teachers' Centre (PATC) were among the participants. Ministers and top officials from 18 countries, and representatives of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, the African Development Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, and civil society organisations also attended.
Improvement of teacher status needed
In her keynote address, the EI Vice-President pointed out the conditions needed to achieve quality education: teacher recruitment, teacher education and development, teacher motivation, and social dialogue.
“As no nation can rise above the level of its education system, so it is that no educational system can rise above the level of its teachers,” Duncan Adanusa said. “Therefore, there can be no genuine transformation of education without a transformation of society’s perception of teachers and a revaluing of the work that teachers do.”
She went on to underline that if Africa wants to construct good education systems, it must invest in teachers by way of quality training, respecting their professionalism, rewarding and recognising those who are effective and efficient, and improving their morale and motivation.
Duncan Adanusa further informed participants about the EI Mobilising for Quality Education (MQE) campaign to be launched on 4 October.
The Head of the Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers for EFA, Edem Adubra, also presented on the implementation of the continental Teacher Development Roadmap.
A discussion was held on a proposal for the PACTED Steering Committee to include the civil society representatives and the adoption of a recommendation.
Call for more social dialogue
While EI received strong support from some Member States and partners such as Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Togo, Zambia, UNESCO, and UNICEF, social dialogue remains a challenge.
“We are delighted to hear that teachers are recognised as being essential for quality education and vital for Africa’s development,” said EI Chief Regional Coordinator for Africa Assibi Napoe. “However, at local level, we deplore that the African Union’s Commission has not seen the necessity to involve teachers’ organisations in the process of PACTED, especially the EI African regional office, which is perceived as an international organisation.”
She stressed that a roundtable on social dialogue with Ministers of Education before the end of the year was strongly recommended by the conference participants.