Education Minister Douglas Siakalima has called for education systems in Africa to be well aligned and regulated to international protocols and frameworks to build a strong foundation for sustainable human and national development on the continent.
Mr Siakalima said that considering the role of education in development, Africa could not afford to leave the provision of education unregulated. “Regulation brings about standards and order.
Unless young people are taught, mentored and coached by qualified, competent, responsible and professional teachers, they may lose out in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and morals,” the minister said.
Mr Siakalima was speaking at the on- going preparatory Board Meeting for the African Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities (AFTRA) summit which was scheduled to be hosted in Zambia next year.
The minister also said there was an urgent need for the continent to share knowledge in pursuit of quality education that would foster critical thinking and unleash the human potential, especially among the youth.
He said Africa had the potential to manage her challenges surrounding the education systems hence the need to forge a collective approach to address problems on the continent.
“I urge the AFTRA leadership and membership to continue bringing teachers, educators, researchers and policy makers together to learn from one another. Society is always changing and the education system needs to be dynamic as well,” he said.
He said the Zambian Government was a keen supporter of the Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ) that regulated the teaching profession through registration of teachers, licensing them and promotion of continuing professional development.
The minister said that at the continental level, AFTRA should ensure that teachers’ qualifications, practices and conduct are harmonised.
He said this will bring about comparable social, human and economic development in Africa.
Mr Siakalima urged all member states to support the authority because its role was extremely important.
AFTRA president Josiah Ajiboye commended Zambia for being nominated to host the 2024 AFTRA conference that was scheduled for May next year.
He expressed confidence that the Zambian Government has what it takes to host the continental event and urged delegates to plan adequately so that the conference was smoothly held.
Prof Ajiboye said many countries on the continent were experiencing economic challenges making it difficult to host big events under the current environment.
He said the four-day board meeting being held in Lusaka this week will be followed by another preparatory meeting scheduled for February next year, just three months before the main conference.
Meanwhile, Education Ministry Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Joe Komoko expressed happiness that preparations for the scheduled Zambia conference would go ahead without much difficulties.