AFTRA Ministerial Session, Lusaka Zambia, May 7, 2024

June 03, 2024

AFTRA Ministerial Session, Lusaka Zambia, May 7, 2024

On May 7, 2024 in Lusaka, Zambia, Ministers of Education held their session which annually takes place within the AFTRA Conference. The session had the Minister of Education, Zambia, Hon. Douglas Syakalima as chair; Ministre de l'Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche Scientifique et de l'Innovation, Maroc, Monsieur Abdellatif MIRAOUI as co-Chair; and Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, African Union Commission, Professor Mohamed Belhocine, represented by the Head of Education, African Union Commission, Sophia Ashipala, as Rapporteur. The Chair, co-Chair and all Ministers present addressed the Session, providing updates on the policy directions of their countries regarding the teaching profession.

Heads and experts of the international organisations presented policy briefs to the Ministers. Among them are:

i.     Dr Carlos Vargas, Head of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, Paris, France.

ii.   Mrs Sophia Ashipala, Head of the Education Division, African Union Commission, Ethiopia.

iii.   Dr. Manos Antoninis, Director, UNESCO Global Education Monitoring [GEM] Report, Paris France.

iv.    Dr Quentin Wodon, Director, UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa, 

       Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

v.     Dr Dennis Sinyolo, Regional Director, Education International Africa Region, Accra, Ghana.

vi.   Professor Steve Nwokeocha, Executive Director [Academics], AFTRA

Presentations covered the UNESCO Global Report on Teachers for addressing teacher shortages and transforming the profession, and Recommendations of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession [Dr Carlos Vargas]; “Born to Learn Spotlight Report on basic education completion and foundational learning in Africa” [ Manos Antoninis]; Teacher Shortages in Africa, Cost-effective Interventions, and the AU Year of Education [Dr. Quentin Wodon]; the African Union Education Year, 2024 [Sophia Ashipala]; Measures for a quality teaching force in Africa [Dr. Dennis Sinyolo]; and AFTRA licensure for school leaders in Africa [Professor Steve Nwokeocha].

The Ministerial session was also the occasion to launch the 2024 Spotlight continental report: “Learning counts”. The Minister of Education, Zambia, Hon. Douglas Syakalima, MP led the launch, followed by an intervention by Sophia Ashipala, Head of the Education Division, African Union (AU) Commission, and a presentation of the report by Manos Antoninis, Director of the 5 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report. The Spotlight series on universal basic education completion and foundational leaning in Africa is a partnership between the AU, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa and the GEM Report, which aims to strengthen the evidence base for policy dialogue on foundational learning in the continent. This second Spotlight continental report cycle focuses on how countries align curricula, textbooks, teacher guides and assessments in primary mathematics. Drawing on detailed country research in Mauritania, Niger, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia, and additional case studies, the report supports the AU of Education and informs peer learning through the AU Continental Education Strategy for Africa clusters.

At the end of the session, the Ministers signed a communique that had a twelve-point commitment in improving the teaching profession in Africa.



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