Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, has called on ECOWAS to harmonize the educational systems and curricula of member countries in order to enhance the free movement of persons in the sub-region.
He said the free movement of citizens within the sub-region required that citizens were able to get jobs and employment in any country in the sub-region depending on one’s educational qualification, skills, and job experience.
Prof. Oquaye made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the Delocalised meeting for the Joint Committees on Education, Science and Technology, and the Committee on Information Technology of the ECOWAS Parliament in Accra.
The five-day conference is on the theme: “The status of harmonisation of Educational Systems and curricular in West Africa: With special reference on equivalence of Degrees, Diploma, Certificates and other qualifications.”
The meeting which is being hosted in Accra for the first time is being attended by the leadership and representatives of the ECOWAS Parliament.
Prof Oquaye also stated that due to variations in Certificates, Degrees and Diplomas especially between the Anglophone and Francophone blocs in the sub-region, there have been challenges of acceptance or otherwise of these qualifications from persons who move from one country to the other in the sub-region in search of jobs.
He said the issue of equivalence of diplomas, degrees and certificates and other qualifications across the sub-region was an important issue in regional economic and social integration.
“It is for this reason that I consider the subject for this delocalised meeting an important one” he said.
Prof Oquaye also observed that it was vital for ECOWAS to promote labour mobility through a harmonised system that recognised the equivalence of diplomas, degrees and certificates across the sub-region.
He said the overriding aim should be to provide relevant and functional educational systems that would train the requisite human resource to address the challenges of regional economic development and integration.