|Ministers Endorse Plan for Harmonization of EAC Education Systems|
Ministers responsible for Education, Science and Technology, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs in the EAC today approved a regional report on the harmonization of EAC education systems and training curricula.
East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 15 July 2011: Ministers responsible for Education, Science and Technology, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs in the EAC today approved a regional report on the harmonization of EAC education systems and training curricula.
The 9th Meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Education, Science and Technology, Culture and Sports held at the Naura Springs Hotel in Arusha considered and adopted the Regional Report on the Harmonization of the EA Education Systems and Training Curricula (RRHESTC), and the report will now be forwarded to the highest policy making organ of the EAC, the Council of Ministers, for adoption.
The report recommends the harmonization of the education calendar; core subjects; years of study; and number of study hours and subject content at all levels of education in the Partner States. It also recommends harmonization of assessment and examination systems, and accreditation standards and benchmarks for training institutions, among others.
Harmonized education systems and training curricula in the region are expected to, among other benefits, buttress the operation of the Common Market, which EAC Partner States agreed to in November 2009.
The Ministers also endorsed the establishment of a High Level Task Force (HLTF) to negotiate and operationalize the harmonization process of the education systems and training curricula. If approved by the Council of Ministers the HLTF will, among others, be tasked with transforming the Report recommendations into strategies for the different education sub-sectors in the region.
The Sectoral Council of Ministers of Education directed the EAC Secretariat to convene meetings of the proposed HLTF within six months after adoption of the report.
The Sectoral Council also approved plans for the inaugural editions of the EAC Arts and Culture Festival and for a regional sports tournament which will be held in alternate years starting next year. The EAC Arts and Culture Festival is slated to take place in September 2012 and will then be followed by the EAC Sports Tournament in June 2013. Both events will be held rotationally among the Partner States.
The Ministers urged the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States to include the two events in their budgets starting from the next financial year (2012/2013), while the Secretariat was further directed to draft rules and regulations to govern the hosting of the culture and sports events by October 2011.
The Ministerial session of the five-day Sectoral Council meeting also approved the Strategic Plans on Education Sector response to HIV and AIDS (2011-2016) and the Resource Mobilization Strategy for the same; and urged Partner States to mobilize resources for dissemination and popularization of the EAC Anthem.
On the report on the Assessment of Prospective EAC Centres of Excellence, the Ministers directed the Secretariat to coordinate the validation of the remaining institutions submitted by the Partner States, while Burundi was urged to re-submit its list of prospective Centers of Excellence for validation by December 2011.
Dr. Julien Nimubona, Burundi's Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, chaired the meeting.
Also in attendance were Hon. Severin Buzingo, Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, Vocational Training and Literacy, (Burundi); Hon. Peter G. Munya, Assistant Minister, EAC Affairs; Hon. Wavinya Ndeti, Assistant Minister, Youth and Sports; Hon. Kilemi Mwiria, Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology (Kenya), Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi, Minister of State, Education and Sports, (Uganda); Hon. Capt. (Rtd) George H. Mkuchika, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (United Republic of Tanzania); Hon. Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education (Rwanda); Permanent Secretaries; and Officials from the Partner States Ministries responsible for Education, Science and Technology, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, among others.