EI Africa Convenes Webinar to Shape Africa's Post-2025 Education Agenda

Education leaders from across Africa gathered on Tuesday, 18th June 2024 for a crucial webinar to discuss the continent's progress towards the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) and the African Union's Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25). With just 6 years left to achieve SDG4's goal of ensuring quality education for all, and less than 2 years until the CESA 16-25 strategy expires, speakers outlined significant challenges that remain.
Mariama Chipkaou, Chairperson of the Education International Africa Regional Committee (EIARC), emphasized the critical role of education unions in shaping Africa's post-2025 education agenda. She pointed to chronic underfunding as the main barrier to achieving SDG4 and CESA, highlighting the need for 15 million more qualified teachers in sub-Saharan Africa. Madame Chipkaou urged union leaders to actively participate in developing a robust post-2025 strategy that ensures quality, publicly funded education for every African child.
Jennifer Hofmann from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) reiterated GPE's work to address the $77 billion annual financing gap and transform education systems in the region. A key focus is strengthening and supporting teachers through initiatives to improve training, recruitment, compensation, and working conditions. For example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a GPE grant is funding efforts to revalue the teaching profession and upgrade learning environments.
Many African countries are taking steps to improve access to education but face ongoing challenges. Kenya has introduced a policy of free day secondary school to ensure a 100% transition rate from basic to secondary school. However, this has led to overcrowded classrooms and strains on the existing school infrastructure. Senegal stands out in the region for its strong commitment to education, allocating 26% of its budget to the sector. Yet the formalization and increased enrollment in the teaching profession have also put pressure on Senegal's education system and facilities. Across the continent, expanding access to schooling is a priority, but countries struggle to keep up with the surge in student numbers and provide quality learning environments, highlighting the need for continued investment in education infrastructure and the teaching workforce.
The webinar aimed to assess progress on these global and regional education goals and develop a position paper with proposals to include in the post-2025 CESA. The Regional Director of EI Africa, Dr. Deniss Sinyolo, noted recent discussions with the African Union on strengthening collaboration between unions and the AU to accelerate SDG 4 and CESA, including plans for a high-level event on teachers in October.  
The participants adopted a statement outlining priority areas for the post-2025 continental education strategy - crucial step in driving progress on SDG4 and CESA across Africa. 

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