5 December 2012

West Africa: ECOWAS Countries Introduce Education for Peace in Schools

The ECOWAS Council of Ministers has adopted a report of the Ministers of Education of member countries that will ensure the teaching of education towards peace and security in West Africa.

The decision of the council at its 69 th session in Abidjan, Cote D'ivoire followed a report submitted to it by the Nigeria's Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i as part of the six recommendations at the Education Ministers 4th meeting in Abuja in October.

Prof. Rufa'i told the Foreign Affairs Ministers in council that the objective of the initiative was to use education in the promotion of peace, human rights, citizenship, democracy and regional integration.

The Minister also called for the reinforcement of the process of revitalization of ECOWAS Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) towards the promotion of entrepreneurial education and skills acquisition in West Africa for the desired development.

The ECOWAS Ministers of Education report also provided for the strengthening of the on going work on ECOWAS Regional Qualifications Framework and the National Qualifications Framework.

Prof. Rufa'i also said the education ministers called for the ratification of the ECOWAS Protocol on education and Training towards the realization of the common objectives of the subregion on educational development.

The NIgeria's Education Minister also expressed the need for the reinforcement of the Education Management System EMIS in member nations for the desired results.

After the of the presentation, the President, ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo commended the NIgerian MInister of Education for the report and it was unanimously adopted as part of the documents of the meeting.

The 69th session of ECOWAS Council of Ministers was declared open by the Cote D'Ivoire Prime Minister, Daniel Kablan Duncan who was the former MInister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of Council in the past nine months before his new appointment.

Reacting to the adoption of the report by the council, the ECOWAS Commissioner Human Development and Gender, Dr. Andre Diop said the adoption will go a long way in changing the delivery of education for development.

On her part, the ECOWAS Commission for Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Suleiman said the promotion of peace through teaching will assist in the realization of one very important focus of ECOWAS. He also commended Prof Rufa.i for making the report rich and assured for her support for its final passage by the commission.

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