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Education experts develop strategies to harmonize educational systems in West Africa

Experts from the education sector in ECOWAS Member States have developed strategies and policies towards harmonizing the educational system and the equivalence of certificates in a bid to increase human capital in the region.

The ECOWAS Vice President, Edward Singhatey in his closing remarks at a two-day technical meeting which ended on the 22nd September 2017, in Abuja, Nigeria, expressed his optimism and confidence in the recommendations of the experts to boost the quality and competitiveness of education in West Africa.

The Vice President remarked that, ‘ it is our responsibility to ensure that student who finish their basic education acquire technical and vocational education, while those who attain their bachelor degrees get further training which will increase employability and in turn development in the region’.

Particularly, he applauded the ‘Skills G’ initiative which is being supported by the Nigerian government in their bid to increase human capital by building the capacity of youth and artisans in both formal and informal education. The Vice president expressed his desire and ECOWAS willingness to support similar initiatives in Member States.

Furthermore, the experts validated the ECOWAS Technical and Vocational Education Training Strategy for Skills Improvement and Employability (ETSSIE) and urged Members States to continue to support and take ownership of the ECOWAS Nnamdi Azikiwe Academy Mobility Scheme (ENAAMS).

Several cross cutting issues were also addressed such as the discrimination of girls and women in education, particularly in accessing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and participating in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The experts also recommended the integration of a fully developed curriculum on the treatment of drug use disorders into academic institutions and the promotion of a culture of peace and social responsibility among the youth in West Africa.

The strategies and recommendations developed at experts meeting are expected to be endorsed in the forth coming Ministerial meeting scheduled for the 28th and 29th September 2017 in Lome, Togo.

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