Executive Summary by 8963qQe

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									         AFRICAN UNION                                       UNION AFRICAINE

                                                             UNIÃO AFRICANA

  Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA P. O. Box 3243 Telephone: 251 11 551 7700 Fax: 251 11 551 7844
                              Website: www.africa-union.org




THIRD ORDINARY SESSION OF THE
CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION OF
THE AFRICAN UNION (COMEDAF III)
6TH TO 10TH AUGUST 2007
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA




                         EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
                      OF TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
                    Executive Summary of Teacher Development


      African countries and partner agencies such as UNESCO, the Association for the
Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), the Association of African Universities (AAU),
the African Virtual University (AVU) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) need to
focus on increasing the quantity and quality of African teachers, particularly among
countries that recently made education “free”, to realize the objective of attaining Education
for All (EFA) goals by 2015.

       The Education for All (EFA) movement launched in 1990 and reinforced by the Dakar
Goals in 2000, have resulted in an extraordinary mobilization of multi, bi-lateral and country
resources in support of basic education in the past 17 years. This has in turn exposed the
inability of attaining EFA goals without trained and qualified teachers. According to
UNESCO Institute of Statistics estimates, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) alone will need
another 4 million teachers in the classroom by 2015 to reach the objective of EFA. All over
the world, and especially so for Africa, enrolment expansion at primary and secondary
levels is taking place by recruiting large number of unqualified and untrained teachers. In
nearly all SSA countries, large number of teachers will have to be trained, upgraded or
replaced. And a more difficult problem is retaining trained teachers in the teaching
profession.

        The document at hand is a product emanating from the African Union’s (AU) Plan of
Action for the Second Decade of Education for Africa which was a result of a lot of
discussion and consultation of the working groups set up by the AU for the purpose. The
first meeting of the working groups held in Johannesburg, South Africa in June 2006
identified seven areas of focus to be incorporated in the Plan of Action, namely i) Gender
and Culture, ii) Education Management Information Systems, iii) Teacher Development, iv)
Tertiary Education, v) Technical and Vocational Education and Training, vi) Curriculum and
Teaching and Learning Materials, vii) Quality Management. The draft document prepared
by the Working Group meeting has then been examined and enriched by an Experts'
Meeting held in Addis Ababa in August 2006 before it was presented to the Heads of State
and Government meeting in Maputo where it was endorsed as the Plan of Action for the
Second Decade of Education for Africa.
        The working group that deliberated on Teacher Development in the Johannesburg
meeting identified the major challenges in the area to be i) teacher shortage, ii) lack of
proper qualifications, iii) imbalance in the gender mix of the teaching force, iv) irrelevance
of training curriculum, v) low salary and status of teachers and difficult working conditions in
African schools. The meeting has also suggested some measures that could be adopted
by African countries to mitigate the effects of the challenges mentioned.
        As the coordinating and monitoring body for the implementation of the Second
Decade of Education, the Education Department of the African Union Commission has now
finalized preparations to launch the implementation of the Plan of Action. This document is
therefore prepared to inform the discussion on the issues to be considered in the
implementation of the Teacher Development component of the Plan of Action. In doing this,
the paper begins with stocktaking of existing initiatives and key stakeholders in teacher
development in Africa. This is important in order to know who is doing what in the area so



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as to streamline and coordinate the activities of the various actors with a view of optimum
utilisation of scarce resources and avoidance of duplications.
      The document then narrates the current status of teacher development in Africa from
regional and national perspectives. This is more of a situational analysis of what is existing
regionally and in individual African countries in terms of teacher number, qualifications,
training capacity, career structure and development, opportunities for in-service training,
utilisation of distance mode of delivery for training teachers, etc.
     Once existing initiatives and key stakeholders are identified and the current status of
teacher development determined, the document highlights the major challenges facing the
sub-sector and the opportunities available in order to chart out the strategies to overcome
the challenges and maximise the opportunities.
     Finally, the paper proposes implementation strategies that could be applied by the
African Union, regional bodies and individual Member States to achieve the goals set out in
the Plan of Action document. According to the Plan of Action for the Second Decade of
Education for Africa, the goal of the teacher development component of the Plan is:
                   To ensure the provision of sufficient teachers to meet the
                   demands of education systems and to ensure that all teachers
                   are properly qualified and possess the relevant knowledge,
                   skills and attitudes to teach effectively. Teachers should also be
                   properly supported and adequately remunerated, to ensure high
                   levels of motivation.1
      The document then highlights the rationale and focus of the teacher development
activities planned for the decade and listed the following priority areas to include:
              Increased supply and utilisation of teachers;
              Improved competence of teachers;
              School leadership development;
              Improved teacher status, morale and welfare;
              Enhanced quality and relevance of pedagogical research.
     As one of the seven areas of focus of the Second Decade 2 , the teacher
development component is going to be implemented in tandem with the rest, and under
the same guiding principles enumerated in the Plan of Action. These guiding principles,
which shall serve as the backdrop of the implementation strategies that are going to be
formulated to each of the seven areas of focus, are:
              Ensuring enhanced political support particularly at national levels, but also at
               regional, continental and international levels;
              Concentration on strategic issues whose implementation will make a
               significant difference within Member States and also at the regional level;
              Enhancing mutual assistance among African States;


1
    Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2015) Plan of Action, September 2006, p. 7.
2
    The other six are: Gender and Culture, Education Management Information Systems, Higher Education, Technical
    and Vocational Education and Training, Curriculum Development and Related Issues of Teaching and Learning
    Materials, Quality Management.



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              Enhancing the capacities of Regional Economic Communities and national
               implementation mechanisms;
              Establishing strong and effective monitoring and oversight mechanisms at all
               levels;
              Avoiding creation of new structures by capitalising on existing structures;
              Institutionalising exchange of documentation, sharing and adopting of positive
               experiences and promising initiatives among Member States;
              Institutionalising collaboration and mutual support between countries, and
               avoiding unnecessary duplication of initiatives.3


        Moreover, the Plan of Action document has given broad outlines of the
management process that will be put in place during the Decade and the resource
mobilisation schemes to be used. Accordingly, there are three levels of implementation
of the activities: at national, regional and AU levels. The Matrix of Activities contained in
the Plan of Action clearly shows the designation of responsibilities between these three
entities. Each thematic/priority area is shown with its objectives, benchmarks, outputs
(outcomes), time frame and partners that will be involved in its implementation.
        As is evident, the Plan of Action has been prepared with the consent and active
involvement of Member States through the various deliberations of the Conference of
Ministers of Education of Africa. The Honourable Ministers and their experts have been
following the process very closely. Each stage of the planning process, and the
documents that result from it, has been scrutinised for its relevance and feasibility. All
this will therefore mean that the Plan of Action is owned by individual Member States. It
is therefore logical to expect them to work hard for the successful implementation of it.
And in the spirit of Pan-Africanism that is at the root of the establishment of the African
Union, the continental organisation is entrusted with the co-ordination, monitoring and
advocacy role, which it should take up with zeal and commitment. The regional
economic communities (RECs) come in between national governments and the AU and
serve as galvanising forces to pool regional resources for the benefit of their member
countries.




3
    Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2015) Plan of Action, September 2006, p. 2



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