Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, Representative of UNESCO to Ghana, has called on governments to invest in education to achieve Sustainable Development Goal four- ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
He charged the leaders to deliver education systems that could support equal societies, dynamic economies, and the limitless dreams of every learner in the world for socio-economic development.
Mr Diallo said this on Tuesday when he joined a team of education partners to tour selected schools in Accra to mark the International Day of Education, which falls on January 24.
The team visited St Thomas Aquinas Senior High School and Osu PresbyBasic School and interacted with them on the importance of education and the need to study hard to be productive in the world of work.
This year’s global theme: “To invest in people, prioritise education,” highlights the central role of education in building sustainable and resilient societies and the achievement of the SDG four.
He said the theme was timely because it was in line with the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres’, “Education Transformation Agenda,” which partners state and non-state actors to reimagine education that was fit for purpose.
Mr Diallo said the year marked the mid-point since the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for people, planet, and prosperity to transform the world through education.
He called on member states to maintain a strong political mobilization around education and chart the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action to build on the global momentum generated by the UN Transforming Education Summit (TES) in September 2022.
“At the Summit, we recognised Ghana’s commitments on how the country intends to recover learning losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and transform education to make it fit for purpose, more inclusive, relevant, and resilient to future shocks,” he said.
He praised Ghana’s commitment to maintaining key flagship interventions such as free senior high school and technical, vocational, and education training education despite the economic downturn.
The UN will continue to support the government’s efforts to improve the education sector as it recovers from COVID-19 and implements the Education Strategy Plan 2018-2030.
Mr Divine Ayidzoe, the Acting Chief Director, Ministry of Education, said Ghana had shown commitment to the UN’s conventions and initiatives, including the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities signed in March 2007, and the UN convention on the rights of the child to education signed in February 1990.
He said Ghana would continue to show its commitment to providing equitable, inclusive, and quality lifelong education for all its citizens to foster the achievement of SDG four and Agenda 2030.
The teacher education reforms, including the elevation of teacher training colleges to tertiary institutions and the teacher professionalism and licencing regime, have changed the face of the teaching profession in the country.
Mr. Stephen Kwaku Owusu, Director of Administration for the Ghana Education Service, stated that the basic and senior high school curriculum reforms, which shifted the curriculum from objective-based to standards-based, sought to address the issue of quality and relevance in the school system.
Research reveals that about 244 million children and youth are out of school, and 771 million adults are illiterate.
UNESCO is dedicating this year’s International Day to girls and women in Afghanistan who have been deprived of their right to education.
It is calling for the immediate lifting of the ban restricting their access to education.
The United Nations General Assembly declared January 24, as the International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.