ECOWAS Education ministers to meet in AccraAccra, January 7 - Education ministers from the 15 Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will meet in Accra January 9 and 10 (at the Hotel M Plaza), to discuss “Education and Sub-regional integration: our commitments and perspectives”.
This meeting follows a first conference of the ECOWAS education ministers held in Dakar (Senegal) in September 2002 and aims to further discussions on a certain number of key issues for education in Africa, notably: harmonizing national education policies with the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the aims of the global Education For All movement (EFA)*; teacher training; teaching of science and technology; girl’s education; and education and HIV/AIDS.
Preceded by a meeting of experts (Accra, January 7 and 8), this second conference of ECOWAS education ministers, financed partly by UNESCO, is also part of the follow-up to the 8th Conference of the Ministers of Education of African Member States (MINEDAF) which was held from December 2-6, 2002 in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania).
At that conference, ministers and representatives from 49 African States committed themselves to finalizing their national EFA plans* by December 2003 and proposed a series of reform measures, notably: devoting at least 20 percent of state budgets to education, and 50 percent of the education budget to primary education; increasing the proportion of non-salary teaching expenses to provide pupils with proper teaching materials; improving teacher training and salaries; achieving pupil/teacher ratios of about 40:1; reducing repeat rates and encouraging the private sector to take in a higher percentage of pupils.
The World Education Forum (Dakar, Senegal 2000) set six goals for achieving Education For All by 2015 and called upon States to establish national plans to reach these objectives.