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

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More