Ghana elected Vice President of UNESCO Conference

Ghana flagsGhana has been elected at the 37th United Nations Education, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) General Conference to serve as one its Vice Presidents.

The UNESCO General Conference consists of representatives of UNESCO member states and it meets every two years to determine the policies and the main lines of work of the Organisation.

At its 37th session, the General Conference is expected to adopt a new Medium-Term Strategy (2014-2021), a programme and budget (2014-2018) for the Organisation’s educational, scientific and cultural endeavour.

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education and Ghana’s Representative on the UNESCO Executive Board, commended the Organisation for its efforts at assisting member states to practically progress on the six ‘Education for All’ goals agreed by the international community in Dakar in 2000.

The Minister made the commendation in her address at the Eighth Plenary Session of the 37th General Conference of UNESCO, a statement signed by Mr Paul Kofi Krampa, Public Relations Director of the Ministry of Education, said.

Professor Opoku-Agyemang recounted the many ways Ghana had responded actively to UNESCO’s “Education for All” programme and the plans to actualise “the last big push as we approach the 2015 deadline”.

She said Ghana’s strategy for education was built on the notions of quality, equity, access and inclusion, with special attention to girls, women, and the marginalized.

She said Ghana’s Constitution upholds Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), adding that national intervention measures such as the capitation grant, the provision of school meals, uniforms, exercise books, as well as the reduction of opportunity costs to education had impacted positively the  education system in the delivery of the FCUBE.

The Minister also underscored the importance of the National Language Acceleration programme that teaches children in their own languages first, before the introduction of other languages which, she said, had widened access to learners, thereby, improving significantly the enrolment rate for pre-schools and ensuring gender parity.

Regarding Vocational and Technical Education, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said Ghana recognised that technical institutes were levers to job creation, especially for the youth, for economic stimulation, mitigation of sustainable development challenges and satisfaction of basic needs.

She said the aim of making science and mathematics education widely accessible and more friendly was to strengthen the foundations of development generally, and of engineering, vocational, and technical education in particular.

The 37th General Conference is also expected to endorse Ghana’s proposal for the year 2015 to be declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Light and Light based Technology.

The international year of light is an international partnership project which is being championed at UNESCO by Ghana, Mexico and New Zealand.

Ghana’s delegation to UNESCO’s 37th General Conference include Mr Enoch Cobbinah, Chief Director of the Ministry, Dr Joseph Koffie-Agoe, Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Ms Benedicta Naana Biney, Director General of the Ghana Education Service and Mrs Charity Amamoo, Secretary-General of the Ghana National Commission of UNESCO.

Source: GNA

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