News / Africa

African Educators Stress Millennium Development Goals

FILE - Children gather for breakfast at the Local Education primary school refugee center Bondon, Kaura local government Kaduna State, Nigeria, March 20, 2014.
FILE - Children gather for breakfast at the Local Education primary school refugee center Bondon, Kaura local government Kaduna State, Nigeria, March 20, 2014.
Educators and civil society groups from 54 African countries are meeting in Cameroon to review the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals on education ahead of a 2015 deadline.  They say with barely a year to go it is more critical than ever that donor countries reaffirm their commitment to the world's poorest people and adopt strategies that can improve access to education. 

A drum beat invites Baka and Mbororo ethnic groups spread in Central African countries to send their children to school.  They still live their traditional lives in which education is not a priority.

Jean Pierre Edzoa, an official of Cameroon's Ministry of Social Affairs, wonders what future exists for the children without education.

"I can use one word, it is a disaster," he said. "We are doing everything possible to make the parents to understand that they are compromising the future of their children."

The efforts to increase school attendance has attracted the attention of the the World Wildlife Fund for Nature.  Hanson Njiforti, the group's director for Cameroon, told VOA that his organization - best known for biodiversity conservation - is now focusing on education because so many children are not going to school.

"There has been a lot of initiative in the past to educate children and most of it has failed, so the study was to get the view of the Baka on what should be done to make sure that their kids go to school," Njiforti said. "We have in the past years been working in education where we have targeted the whole Congo Basin, but Cameroon has been taken as a pilot area where we shall get information that will be used to later extend to the other part of the Congo Basin."

Educators and civil society groups from the African countries meeting in Yaounde say although a recent report on the U.N. Millennium Development Goals indicates progress, many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, will not meet targets for increasing education and gender equality in primary and secondary schools.

Bois Waruku of the Nairobi-based Africa Network Campaign on Education for all says their meeting in Yaounde gives them an opportunity to look beyond 2015.

"The sustainable development goals that civil societies have been pushing for is that beyond 2015, what should it be like? Before 2015 world leaders did commit to millennium development goals which were to be achieved by 2015, so a number of the goals that they committed to are coming to and end in 2015. Beyond 2015 what should it be like? We are actually to review emerging proposals which are coming from various organizations including the African Union on post-2015 development goals," said Waruku.

Beatrice Njenga, head of the Education Division at the African Union Commission, told VOA that educators are preparing a 50-year education program for Africa and need the support of funding agencies.

"If you want to support Africa, you need to understand Africa's very well articulated vision with priorities in education for 2063 so that all investment is towards a common vision," she said. "So unless we actually sit and put in place strategies to achieve what we need to achieve in 50 years, it will be 2063 and we will be still talking about the same thing."

The education experts say almost all African countries are off track on the Millennium Development Goals for education, but that poverty rates have been declining and comparatively more children are going to school, especially in the more than 30 countries where governments have begun implementing free primary education.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify Power Base

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs