The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has urged African countries to come together to share ideas on creating a better education system on the continent.
He explained that education on the continent would be transformed and the future of young people on the continent would become better as result.
“We cannot be timid, we have to be bold. We have to pursue an agenda of economic transformation through education,” he emphasised.
Dr Adutwum said this at the closing ceremony for the launch of the World Bank’s new regional education strategy for western and central Africa held in Accra.
The meeting was attended by 21 ministers of finance and education on the continent.
Importance of education
He said the fourth industrial revolution that the world found itself in, without education, the fortunes of the continent would never be transformed, adding that, it would never be able to change the vicious cycle of poverty to a virtuous cycle of prosperity which had to happen through education.
“We want to change the African nightmare and we have to come together to share ideas together otherwise prosperity will elude us,” he stressed.
He said it was after the continent had been able to reform its education system and made it free of purpose that the continent could proudly say that it had truly transformed.
Dr Adutwum pointed out that the 20 per cent gross sector enrolment rate in tertiary institutions in the continent would not lead to economic transformation, pointing out that the continent needed to take itself out of the mediocrity where it compared itself to fellow African countries that they were better off than them without looking at the facts.
Urgent call for action
In a 22-point urgent call for action issued at the end of the conference, the ministers, among others, pledged their commitment to reduce learning poverty; to increase girls' secondary school enrolment and track progress; to increase tertiary education enrolment especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and other disciplines relevant to the labour markets and to hold countries accountable to the commitments made.
Later at a press conference, the World Bank’s Vice President for Western and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, said the world was in a time of overlapping crisis – climate crisis, political crisis, learning crisis and health crisis and it was during such times that opportunities to do different things emerged.
He praised Ghana for the critical reforms it had made in its education system.