The Organisation of Educational Cooperation (OEC) participated this Monday in the inauguration of the 3rd African Continental Conference on Curriculum entitled “Technology of Education and Curriculum Alignment in the New Era” which will take place until May 26 in the city of Banjul, in The Gambia.
Co-organized by the OEC, ACA, AU, MoBSE and UNESCO-IBE, the event brings together curriculum developers, implementers, partners, teacher educators and other stakeholders to discuss and explore solutions to educational challenges in Africa.
In his opening statement, the Secretary-General of the OEC, H.E. Mr. Manssour Bin Mussallam referred to the main reasons for supporting the Conference.
“It is the same reason that has brought all of you here today, the same reason that leads each of us to strive daily, in the face of overwhelming odds, with tireless persistence and unrelenting determination. And that unifying motive is that We all serve the same noble and collective cause: that of building a third, inclusive and equitable way of development that can only emerge through and from education”, he assured. The Secretary-General welcomed the fact that the continental meeting recognises the need to align school curricula, teacher training and learning assessments, and put forward for the consideration of the participants another fundamental alignment – that should be achieved – and which he referred to as “social alignment”.
Bin Mussallam warned that there is no neutral education in terms of social justice, and as much as education carries with it the promise of a better and more equitable future, it can also act as an instrument of alienation, an ‘industrial factory’ that reproduces society with all its inequities and deformities.
Therefore, he said that an education that recognises regional aspirations, national priorities, local realities and our individual particularities is needed, not one that – under the guise of universally equal standards – only reproduces inequality.
Alluding to the potential of technology and innovations, he stated that there is no discussion about whether to use technology, but insisted that we still need to have a rigorous and thoughtful debate about where, when and how to use technology.
“We need contextualised technologies, or at very least technologies that can be contextualised, rather than the ready-made, proprietary closed source technologies,” he insisted. With the certainty that when we talk about education we are talking about a transformed education that can reach its full emancipatory potential, Bin Mussalam mentioned the synergy that must exist between the wisdom of ancient traditions and the vigour of contemporary dreams.
“This is what it means to achieve truly African curricula. This is what it means to strive for balanced and inclusive education. This is the historical mission of this Continental Conference and this is our unwavering, intransigent determination,” he remarked.
Summoning to continue the fight for a better world, the Secretary-General insisted: “The clock is ticking, ladies and gentlemen.”
OPENING CEREMONY SPEECH BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
3rd African Continental Curriculum Conference
23rd May 2022, Banjula, The Gambia