African countries are ready to work with the labour force to build quality educational training.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the future path for education this morning (Wednesday) with Hp Worldwide VP for Education and Health Suresh Subramanian, Ministers from Ethiopia, Botswana, Lesotho and South-Africa said their countries’ education training will focus on the needs of the workforce. Ethiopia Minister of Education Ato Wondwossen Kiflu said the future of education in his country will now focus on the community actively taking part in the development of infrastructures and handling vocational education development.
That their main focus will be on improving the quality of education training. “The training will be determined by the needs and demands of the workforce and various industries,” he said. Commenting on the development made, Lesotho Minister of Education and Training Makabelo Mosothoane said her country has engaged in massive construction of education facilities such as laboratories and libraries as well as training of educators for special education to ensure that all children are offered a chance to be part of the learning process. For her part, South-Africa Deputy Minister of Economic Development Hlengiwe Mkhize said her country is focused on developing the foundation level through the introduction of computer literacy at a younger age.
Mkhize said they have also introduced equity colleges, which have partnered with the private sector industries to enable the learners to be equipped with skills and techniques required by different sectors of the economy. “We are moving away from fragmented approaches to come up with partnerships that link skills with the labour market to curb the high unemployment we are faced with.” In Botswana Minister of Education Skills and Development Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said the focus is to convert education to become the main income earner, as the country is investing millions of pula in its human resource development. “The aim is to turn Botswana into a virtual learning centre with high standard education facilities and resources,” she said. Moitoi added that the government has also provided Information Communication Technology (ICT) resources to community members through the ‘hole in the wall initiative,’ however the main challenge is people’s lack of interest in taking advantage of the resources.
“All that has to be done is to change people’s mindset and create interest towards learning how to use the resources., she said. Subramanian said the ministers’ presentations indicated their countries’ commitment to change and deep commitment to the future development of their children through education.