AU expert proposes standardisation of education sector
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A SENIOR official of the African Union has called on member states to adopt a resolution aimed at standardizing the continent’s education system with the view of promoting quality education and skills transfer.
Speaking at the 25th edition of the Ordinary African Union Summit in Johannesburg on Friday, AU Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology, Dr Martail De-Paul Ikounga, said standardising the education system from elementary level up to tertiary stages would improve the largely-impoverished continent’s capacity to uplift the people’s standard of living.
“When a child has spent ten years learning in one country, he or she should be able to move to another country and continue where he or she left. We want the level of qualifications for each grade or degree to be the same in all our countries,” Ikounga said.
He said different countries were expected to cooperate and work together at different levels to bring about this uniformity while ensuring delivery of quality education.
“We have to start at the national level down to the private learning institutions. Our universities will have to create platforms where they can understand each other in order to make this dream a reality,” Ikounga said.
The standardization of education, though a pipeline dream, many critics feel the move, when implemented kill diversity in the continent and lead to poor education considering that some countries have low budgets for educational development programmes.
Although the AU technology expert disagrees, the experts in the sector believe different countries have different challenges in addressing their education gap.
“We have heard those questioning the harmonization plan and their fear that it will kill diversity.
“The orchestra have many instruments but when they are played together they all agree and produce one solid good music to the ear. If done well, harmonisation and standardization of our educational programmes will lead to quality education,” Ikounga said.
He said the ground work had already commenced in the continent’s 55 research centres dotted in different regions of the continent and said these will be very useful in the implementation of this standardization programme.
Among other benefits of standardising the education curriculum around the continent, he said, was the boosting of trade and free movement of African people among their countries.
He pointed out that presently, Africa, unlike their European or Asian counterparts had border restrictions, which he said was retrogressive in terms of development.
The commissioner noted that countries in Africa had different curriculums, ranging from one region to the other.
“This will allow the movement of goods, services and population in the continent,” said Ikounga.
Meanwhile, kickstarting the 25th AU Summit, South African President, Jacob Zuma, on Friday said intra-Africa trade was one of the issues that are expected to take centre stage at the summit.
“All economic blocks in the continent need to work together to improve regional intra-trade which is very important for the growth of our economy,” said Zuma.
The head of state said the topic should be expedited to grow the economy of the continent and pave the way to prosperity for Africa as a region.
The 25th Ordinary Summit is being held under the theme “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.” At the Sandton International Convention Centre.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=6407