17 July 2013

Africa: Pan-African Conference Discussing Teacher Development

Addis Ababa is hosting Pan-African Conference on Teacher Development (PACTED III). The Conference intends to help ensure access and learning by optimizing the effectiveness of African teacher.

The Conference is part of the 2nd Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2015).

Sub-Saharan Africa suffers both in access and quality of education. And statistics from the 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report shows Sub-Saharan African countries must recruit over 2 million teachers to achieve universal primary education by 2015.

Irene Duncan-Adanusa, Education International Vice President for Africa said: "Teacher development priorities in the Second Decade of Education for Africa are clear indications of the African Union's commitment to improving teacher quality, motivation and retention."

Quality education requires quality teachers while retaining quality teachers is another challenge in the education system, the conference understands.

The conference recognizes "If Africa wants to construct a good education system, it must invest in teachers by way of quality training, respecting their professionalism, rewarding and recognizing those who are effective and efficient as well as improving their morale and motivation."

Education International says teaching should be an attractive profession and not just a waiting room for job opportunities.

Fuad Ibrahim, Ethiopian State Minister of Education, told ERTA his country has been doing great in terms of social sector development including education and health.

Ethiopia has trained a lot of teachers over the years to meet its target for access. Besides already the country has put in place a package that can help improve quality of education across all levels, Fuad explained.

According to him, the teacher education training system has been undergoing transformation and it will continue to improve the system.

Now the country has 35 teacher education colleges and train tens of thousands. The country see quality beyond number requirements, he underscored.

It is student teacher contact time and its quality that matters in passing the contents of the curriculum at each level.

At the same time, as for the state minister, overhauling the teacher education system and being able to producing quality teacher are other crucial elements to ensure quality education.

This effort is coordinated with other major programs like MDGs and Education for All.

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