On the day prior to the “3rd Continental Conference on African Curriculum” which will be held from 23-26 May in Banjul, Gambia, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Educational Cooperation (OEC) H. E. Manssour Bin Mussallam, and the Secretary-General of the African Curriculum Association (ACA), Dr. Gertrude Namiburu, held a preparatory meeting.
Grateful for the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest, Bin Mussallam and Namiburu recognized the need for national curricula to reflect the transformations that are taking place in the world inside and outside educational institutions.
They also highlighted that Africa, like any other continent, faces new and constant demands to respond to economic, environmental, social and political transformations, which implies the delimited use of innovative and higher-order skills such as: knowledge, values, attitudes and related skill-sets.
The Conference will provide a unique opportunity to reflect on the potential mismatch between the intended, implemented and achieved curriculum, explore the potential of technology and innovations to improve curriculum processes and products, and consider the curricular implications of translating the global goals into national contexts. But how can Africa move towards quality and holistic curricula and education? In this sense, Namiburu mentioned the challenges that the ACA has identified in African countries the reform required for curricula and teaching systems, and pointed out that most of them lack a National Quality Framework, an essential tool for evaluating the progress made in educational reforms.
The debates continued to focus on the challenges and benefits of projects initiated by the ACA consisting of the digitization of the curriculum and educational content through the use of technology and multimedia communication channels encompassing TV, radio and social networks.
By the same token, appreciation was expressed towards the OEC for its willingness to further discuss this initiative as well as the intention to define an action plan in the interest of both parties.
Moreover, Bin Mussallam praised intraculturalism as a concept and referred to it as a strategic priority of the Organisation, suggesting that they could continue promoting jointly this concept, a key pillar of the Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education, among OEC’s 27 founding states and ACA’s 54 members.
A moment of special importance was the invitation extended to the OEC Secretary-General to meet with the new Director of the ACA, who will be elected soon in a session organised on the margins of the Conference, that is being co-organisers by the African Union (AU), the Ministry of Basic Education and Gambia Secondary School (MoBSE) and the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (UNESCO-IBE), and asked Bin Mussallam to nominate a representative to participate on this occasion.
The search for lasting solutions to the problems of education in Africa, it was highlighted, requires professionals to dialogue and propose strategies. Bin Mussallam expressed, in this regard, his great expectations towards the discussions that will be generated at the Conference and expressed his resolve to accompany ACA in historic appointment of its new Secretary-General.