The 10th Conference and 12th Roundtable were hosted by the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Namibia and Namibia National Teachers’ Union (NANTU). The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Hon. Ester Anna Nghipondoka, MP chaired the National Organising Committee (NOC) which comprised the relevant arms of the Ministry; NANTU; Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security; and other critical national stakeholders.
Over three hundred delegates and participants attended the Conference physically while at least 1,500 participated virtually through Zoom. The events were also shared through various social media handles and broadcast live over the national television and radio stations of Namibia. The participants and delegates were from the following eighteen countries and categories:
- South Africa
- Canada (Virtual presentation by Commonwealth of Learning)
- The Global audience through ZOOM, and social media handles.
The Conference and Roundtable featured several epochal events that included Investiture of the President of Namibia with AFTRA’s Gold Medal; conferment of AFTRA Fellowship; and showcasing of the 2022 winners of the African Union Best Teacher Award. There was also a newly introduced training of delegates and participants by UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, Paris; and AFTRA. A cultural eve was also organised by Namibia to display its cultural assets.
The communique issued by delegates and participants at the end of the week-long events had the following recommendations:
|SN||ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS||ACTION BY|
|1||In line with the outcome of the UN Transforming Education Summit (TES), and theme of the AFTRA Conference, all stakeholders should prioritize teachers, teaching and the teaching profession as key levers for transforming the education system.||AU Member States, AU, AFTRA, TTF, UNESCO-IICBA, EI, COL, etc.|
|2||Enact an Act to legalise teaching and establish a national teaching council to regulate the profession||AU Member States|
|3||AU Member States upcoming in the establishment of a national teaching council should leverage the cutting-edge technical expertise available in AFTRA and older national teaching councils to fast-track the establishment of their own councils.||AU Member States|
|4||Develop a national framework of teaching standards well aligned with the Education International/ UNESCO (2019) and African Union (2019) frameworks of teaching standards. In addition, domesticate the African Union (2019) Continental Teacher Qualification Frameworks and Continental Guidelines on the Teaching Profession.||AU Member states|
|5||Ministries of Education, national teaching councils and related national agencies should urgently regularize and strengthen their membership of AFTRA to promote the harmonization of the teaching profession in Africa, interoperability, exchange of best practices, and mutual recognition teacher qualifications, registration and licensing.||AU Member States|
|6||Develop comprehensive national teacher policy in line with the UNESCO (2015) Teacher Policy Development Guide. The policy should cover: (1) Teacher recruitment and retention, (2) Teacher education (initial and continuing), (3) Deployment, (4) Career structures/paths, (5) Teacher employment and working conditions, (6) Teacher reward and remuneration; (7) Teacher standards, (8) Teacher accountability, and (9) School governance. In view of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on teachers and teaching, psychosocial support should be optimized.||AU Member States, AU, AFTRA, TTF, UNESCO-IICBA, EI, COL, etc.|
|7||All parts of Africa should work towards harmonizing their teaching profession under AFTRA irrespective of the linguistic divides (English, French, Portuguese, Arabic) and colonial educational traditions. AFTRA shall remain a body where all regions of Africa have equal stake; AFTRA will continue to work with all major languages of the continent.||AFTRA, AU Member States|
|8||Ministers of Education shall remain the key drivers of AFTRA and all African Ministers of Education should prioritise their pariticipation in the AFTRA Annual Ministerial Session which provides opportunities for the Ministers to steer the teaching profession in the desired direction.||Ministers of Education in Africa|
|9||The African Union Best Teacher Prize is a highly commendable initiative and all African countries are encouraged to obtain the relevant information from the African Union and ensure they nominate their qualified teachers and school leaders. AFTRA should sustain its commendable annual showcasing of the Best Teachers and other joint projects and mentoring of the teachers. All AU Member States should replicate the Best Teacher Awards at the national level.||AU Member States, AU, AFTRA, TTF, UNESCO-IICBA, EI, COL, etc.|
|10||The declaration of 2024 as Year of Education by the African Union is timely and all AU Member States and Education partners should make maximum use of the Year to bring their most impactive teacher-related initiatives to the front burner.||AU Member States, AU, AFTRA, TTF, UNESCO-IICBA, EI, COL, etc.|
|11||Data generation should be accorded greater attention than presently obtains, and aim at building a robust Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) and overall Education Management Information System (EMIS). This is to guarantee evidence-based policies, allocation resources, and resilient, inclusive and better performing education systems.||AU Member States, AU, AFTRA, TTF, UNESCO-IICBA, EI, COL, etc.|
|12||Self-directed learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in teacher professional development should be promoted in order to use technologies to improve and expand learning for sustainable development.||AU Member States, AU, AFTRA, TTF, UNESCO-IICBA, EI, COL, etc.|
|13||The UNESCO IICBA Education and Policy Academy promises to build critical capacity in education policy development and management. Teachers and education managers and policy makers across Africa are urged to take advantage of the training, technical support and certification.||AU Member States, TTF, UNESCO IICBA, AFTRA, IE.|
|14||There should be concerted efforts to end bullying in schools. Corporal punishment should be outlawed in line with existing laws on child protection.||AU Member States, AU, AFTRA, TTF, UNESCO-IICBA, EI, COL, etc.|
THE 2023 CONFERENCE IN PICUTRES