The process of establishing the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana has been completed.
The IEPA is a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa.
A press statement issued by the Head, Communications and Public Relations at the Institute for Educational Planning & Administration (IEPA), Nana Efua Rockson said a signing ceremony took place at the UNESCO office in Paris on Thursday, November 12, 2020 to formally complete the process.
It said Ghana's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France and Portugal and Permanent Representative of Ghana to UNESCO, Anna Bossman, signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Ghana whilst the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay, did same for UNESCO.
The agreement spelt out the commitment of both parties and more specifically, addresses the mandate, responsibilities, and obligations of IEPA.
It would be recalled that the 40th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO on November 15, 2019 approved the elevation of IEPA to a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa.
Ghana’s delegation to the General Conference was led by the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
The General Conference further authorized the Director-General of UNESCO to sign the corresponding agreement with the Government of Ghana for operations.
This signing therefore completes the process and sets the tone for a new phase for IEPA to deliver on its new mandate.
Instructively, the IEPA as a UNESCO Category II Centre will build capacity of the work force in the education sector in the West African sub-region in the areas of educational planning, leadership and administration as well as mobilize international and regional experts to provide technical assistance and policy advice to support sector-wide planning and policy development.
The operations of IEPA will be driven by four key strategic thrusts.
First, to build and strengthen capacity of educational planners, leaders and administrators in the West African sub-region.
Second, to support educational ministries within the sub-region to undertake sector-wide planning, policy development and implementation.
The third is to promote cutting-edge research, innovation and consultancy in education service delivery whilst the fourth is to create a platform for, and mobilize educational experts in the sub-region to interrogate educational issues and provide policy advice to Ministries of Education of Member States.
Instrumentally, the new IEPA UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa’s operation will result in member states harnessing research and innovation to boost development and build related capacities, preparing policy briefs emanating from research in topical issues of educational equity and efficiency, and networking for collaborative work on the priority areas of UNESCO.
It is worthy to note that Ghana is committed to implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The elevation of IEPA to a UNESCO Category II status is part of the commitment of the West African governments to meet the above international agenda for education especially in meeting the SDG 4 which seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”