Development of a Regional Qualifications Framework for IGAD countries endorsed

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has 8 Member States, namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea (currently inactive), Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The IGAD region collectively hosts about 4.2 million refugees and 9.6 million internally displaced persons (IDP) which consist largely of people being forcibly displaced from their homes and villages due to ongoing conflicts.

In 2017, IGAD Member States jointly signed the Djibouti Declaration where among other areas of action, the development of a Regional Qualifications Framework (RQF), was one of five strategic interventions for the Agency. UNESCO Office for Eastern Africa presented its Report entitled Towards a Regional Qualifications Framework for IGAD Member States at the IGAD Experts Meeting in December 2021 and on March 30th 2022, Ministers of Education and Representatives of seven IGAD Member States adopted the final communique to affirm collaboration on the development of a RQF for the region.

The Regional Director for UNESCO Eastern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen participated in the High Level Ministerial event where he congratulated all countries for their partnership on the development of a RQF and urged all countries to ratify the Addis Convention 2014 on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Qualifications in Higher Education in African States for the innumerable advantages it offered. Djibouti is currently the only IGAD country to have ratified the Convention from the IGAD region. Prof. Gijzen reiterated UNESCO offer to share its expertise on the UNESCO Qualifications Passport (UQP) for refugees through an assessment of prior learning for higher education; and also access to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) that UNESCO houses.

While emphasizing the need for specific attention to the schooling of refugees and the risk of dual disruption to educational access during a pandemic such as Covid-19, Prof. Gijzen underscored the need for ‘flexible, resilient and inclusive education systems with increased use of distance learning modalities and ICTs in education’ which have enormous potential to ‘ensure continued access to high quality education for all, leaving no learner behind.’

 

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