‘African education should comply with market needs’

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‘African education should comply with market needs’

Memory Mutenda

Cairo – Samia Abbas, the secretary general of the Union of African Journalists, says Africans need to invest more in education to improve the quality of education to comply with market needs.

“Millions of children in Africa are not in school – Africans should seek practical ways to improve the lives of children, e.g. address long distances to school and equip schools with facilities,” Abbas informed young African journalists attending a course in Cairo, Egypt.

She was addressing the round-table discussion with African journalists attending the 50th training course for young African journalists in Cairo.

The training was organised by the Union of African Journalists in collaboration with Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation. The Union of African Journalists has now trained more than 1,000 journalists from the African continent.

According to UNESCO, 29.8 million children living in Sub-Saharan Africa were out of school in 2011, which is half of the total 57 million of children worldwide who were out of school in 2011.

“As Africans we have a great chance of cooperating with each other to channel the right education in Africa, to equip learners with the required materials, and vocational and technical education,” said Abbas.

Young African journalists at the training gave recommendations on how African countries can improve the education system, through putting more effort and emphasis on entrepreneurial and vocational training – to inspire children and youth to work for themselves to flourish in their own terms.

“Educationalists should be incentivized appropriately to avoid them taking their skills elsewhere, off the continent, and the quality of education for a girl child should be made easily accessible – and safety should be prioritized,” said journalists at the closing ceremony of the course.

Countries were also urged to consider school feeding programmes to keep children in school.

*Memory Mutenda is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Windhoek.