By Cecil Mensah
A five-man delegation left Accra last week to share the country’s success in education with the rest of the world at the World Education Forum scheduled for Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 19 to 22 May, 2015 in spite of the fact that the sector has been downgraded by OECD in its global ratings.
The delegation was led by Minister for Education, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Enoch H. Cobbinah, Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr. Jacob Kor, his Deputy Director, Mr Stephen Adu and the Chairman of the Education Committee of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, Prof Yaw Ankomah.
The 2015 World Education Forum, was organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with six other co-conveners namely United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women and the World Bank Group.
The forum is expected to review the performance of the Education for All (EFA) goals (2000 – 2015) set in Dakar in 2000 by the international community, and as well set new global education agenda for the next fifteen years (2015 – 2030).
The forum will discuss the Six EFA goals agreed on in Dakar are as follows: expand early childhood care and education, provide free and compulsory primary education for all, promote learning and life skills for young people and adults, Increase adult literacy by fifty percent, achieve gender parity by 2005 and gender equality by 201 5 and finally to improve the quality of education.
Ghana’s delegation will be taking part in discussions on the five key themes at the Conference, namely Right to Education, Equity in Education. Inclusive Education, Quality Education, and
Speaking at a Panel discussion on the opening Plenary of the conference on Tuesday on the theme “Rethinking Education: Towards a global common good”, the Minster for Education said Ghana’s progress in the pursuit of the Education for All goals, particularly in the area of Early Childhood Care and Education, where the UNESCO has cited Ghana as having achieved significant results, as well as improvement in access and participation across all the levels of education in the country.
She further shared Government’s forward-looking post-2015 education agenda, and elaborated on improving equitable access to and participation in Quality Education at all levels as well as improving quality of Teaching and Learning, especially in Mathematics and Science
She said Improving management of Education service delivery with focus on efficiency, Strengthening and rebranding Technical and Vocational Education to make it more responsive to the World of work.
At high-level panel discussion on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Prof Naana Jane Opoku -Agyeman, touched on Ghana’s position on Education for Sustainable Development which shared with participants at the Forum.
Ghana’s delegation is expected to take part in key parallel sessions’ discussions at the Conference
On the topics Equity and Inclusion in education, Achieving gender equality in education, Effective governance and accountability in education, providing meaningful learning opportunities to out-of-school children
However, an International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Post-2015 Education will also be organized back-to-back with the World Education Forum, in Qingdao, China.
At said conference, Ghana’s Minister for Education has been requested by UNESCO to share Government’s position on “strategies in the area of ICT and post-2015 education”, emphasizing ICT in Education Policy and Open Educational Resources (OERs).
The ICT and Education Conference in Qingdao seeks to create an interface between education and ICT sectors to debate on how ICT can be leveraged at scale to support the achievement of post-2015 education goals and targets.
The outputs of the two Conferences will lead to high-level Statements by Governments to make commitments to implement the proposed post-2015 Education Agenda (Education 2030) within the Sustainable Development Goals.