Monday 15 October 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

ZONGONEWS EDITORIAL: International Migrant Destinations ( Part 29 )

In the quest to fulfil the basic human right of every child having access to inclusive and equitable education I ask the question what will they be taught when they get there? In the week that we hear UNESCO say that Governments must be held accountable for the slow progress that African countries have made towards the global education goals and that Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind globally in most of its education standards, our focus is timely.

Curriculum is a term that is used to describe the overall content of what is taught in a school, college, university or indeed any other teaching and learning setting. All too often it is forgotten that curriculum goes far beyond the subject that is being taught and the gaining of qualifications and skills. It not only influences how we learn and what we learn but it also shapes our morals, values, experiences, perspective of education, the world around us and our aspirational dreams. Curriculum content has the power to drive and influence the future of those who are schooled in it and shape the destiny of the individual, family, community, region and ultimately the world landscape.

In 2015, UNESCO took on the role of leading the coordination and monitoring of the Global Education 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 4 to “ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The delivery of the Goal is outlined within the Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action. The document states “We also commit to providing meaningful education and training opportunities for the large population of out-of-school children and adolescents who require immediate, targeted and sustained action ensuring that all children are in school and are learning”. In 2013 the out-of-school population equated to 59 million primary aged children and 65 million lower-secondary school aged children.

The Declaration advocates at least 9 years and preferably 12 years of free publicly funded primary and secondary education that “establish the building blocks of basic literacy and numeracy skills and achievement of an array of relevant learning outcomes as defined by and measured against established curricula and official standards.. that enable children to develop to their full potential”. It is vital therefore that those delivering education know the ‘established curricula and official standards’ and how best to deliver them. Not forgetting, the curricula must also include relevant learning for personal progress related to their environment and beyond.

Over the next few weeks we will explore aspects of the African education curriculum and education curriculum in other parts of the world for those who migrate.

Helen Clark, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator said of the Education 2030 Framework for Action “In our world, knowledge is power, and education empowers. It is an indispensable part of the development equation. It has intrinsic value – extending far beyond the economic – to empower people to determine their own destiny. That is why the opportunity to be educated is central to advancing human development”.

This is our world and everyone has the opportunity to make a significant contribution. What will yours be?

Lesley Shepperson
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants LTD

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