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...The Triennales on Education and Training in Africa

Date and Venue: The 2012 Triennale is scheduled on 12-17 February 2012 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

From Biennale to Triennale: After the last Biennale, held in Maputo, the ADEA Steering Committee decided that it would in future hold this forum every three years, hence the term Triennale. The first Triennale will take place in February 2012, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. While it is consistent with past Biennale meetings, it also seeks to take a new look at the issues examined and processes used, thus ensuring the involvement of a wider range of stakeholders.

Overall Theme:  “Promoting critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for sustainable development in Africa: How to design and implement an effective response through education and training systems?” 
In dealing with this theme, the Triennale is seeking to involve a wide range of stakeholders (ministries, development agencies, civil society, communities, enterprise, etc.) in a participatory and collaborative process of analysis, reflection, deployment, discussion, sharing and action focusing on the reforms and innovations will drive the reforms sought. These reforms focus on the following areas: 

  • A realistic view of Africa’s future.
  • The pursuit of new education and training policies and strategies designed to achieve this goal through the effective targeting and consideration of economic, social and cultural demand, to enhance and release sustainable development potential and assets in different African countries.
  • The emergence of new diversified and integrated education and training systems and schemes which, within the context of lifelong learning, are developing a mass of critical skills for this purpose.

    Key Concepts : The main thrusts of our thinking and action are based on a number of key concepts whose distinctive feature is that they reflect recent developments in education and training systems while at the same time placing them in a process of transformation of these systems. These key concepts connect the various definitions of skill to that of sustainable development, through the notions of efficiency and effectiveness. They may be are up as follows:
    sustainable development,
    lifelong learning, and
    effective responses to challenges.
    With a view to widening learning opportunities, the 2008 Biennale concluded that it is necessary to build open, diversified, integrated and fully-inclusive education and training systems in Africa through the mobilization of all resources and formal, non-formal and informal types of education. The Triennale theme both expands upon this idea and takes it further, focusing more specifically on the need to increase the effectiveness of learning to meet the current and future challenges posed by sustainable development in Africa.  When put into a long-term perspective, this process is of a spiral nature when considered in the ongoing process of progressive change of education and training systems, which determines the purpose and character of the ADEA Biennales and Triennales. 

    The three sub-themes selected as frameworks for thought, analysis and contributions for all those involved in the preparations for the Triennale draw on the most recent results of current research and experimentation to propose a new vision of the entire education and training field.
    Sub-theme 1: Common core skills for lifelong learning and sustainable development in Africa

    Sub-theme 2: Lifelong technical and vocational skills development for sustainable socio-economic growth in Africa

    Sub-theme 3: Lifelong Acquisition of Scientific and Technological Knowledge and Skills for Africa’s Sustainable Development in a globalized world

    A participatory preparation process : The lines of thought, analysis and consultation raised by the overall theme and the three sub-themes of the Triennale will give rise to many contributions that will enrich the debate among countries, development agencies, and education and training.
     To elicit active preparation and participation from both African countries and their partners, the methodology developed is based on the analysis, sharing and exchange of acquired experience and knowledge concerning the promotion of critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for sustainable development. Adhering to its praxis approach, ADEA set a number of objectives for this participatory exercise: (i) to adopt a very broad viewpoint in studying relevant policies, strategies and practices, taking into account the specific contexts to which they belong; (ii) to identify African solutions developed by African countries in response to African problems related to the promotion of critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for sustainable development
    ; (iii) to encourage, through the exchange of ideas, the emergence of more fertile political visions and commitments.

    The syntheses of the theme and sub-themes will be drawn from two principal sources: analysis of country experiences (case studies defined and conducted by African countries) and a literature review to identify themes relating directly to the
    promotion of critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for sustainable development. More than one hundred studies have been initiated in education ministries, research networks, cooperation and development agencies, and the ADEA Working Groups to provide material for the discussions at the Triennale. The aim of this is to ensure that the policy dialogue in Ouagadougou will be firmly anchored in research, actual practice and experience.
    In addition, there are plans to organize regional consultations with representatives of the private sector, civil society and youth in order to involve them directly in the design and construction of education and training systems capable of meeting the challenges of Africa’s sustainable development. The findings from these consultations will feed in the syntheses.

    Side events: As is custom, the Caucus of African Ministers of Education will meet the day before the Triennale work sessions start and ADEA Working Groups will seize the opportunity of the exceptional gathering to hold their own meetings. ADEA will organize a ‘Knowledge and Innovation Fair’ to showcase successful experiences on Education and Training in Africa.
    The Akintola Fatoyinbo Education Journalism Award will also award the winners of the 6th Edition and launch the next competition. 

    The Triennale discussions seek to highlight goals, policy guidelines, concepts, methodologies, strategies and instruments to help develop a strategic framework for policies and partnerships regarding paradigm changes to promote critical skills acquisition and lifelong learning for sustainable development, in particular: 
  •  identification and definition of education and training challenges and priorities related to sustainable development in Africa analysis of contexts and favorable opportunities
  • analysis of skill needs and the range of options for their development
  • strategic planning of skills development comprising sequences that are coordinated with stages of economic and social development
  • specific action plans for the implementation of reforms
  • design and delivery of steering, management and evaluation instruments for skills in terms of human resources and knowledge 
  •  regional and continental prospects for cooperation

It is hoped that the achievements of the Triennale will help to generate momentum that will encourage the countries and different categories concerned (ministers, professionals from education and other development sectors, and economic and social leaders and stakeholders) to implement the paradigm shifts and develop relations which will put the desired process of social change into practice.




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