UNESCO welcomes AU's decision to promote education in 2024

By Luo Yu
  • World
  • Thursday, 22 Feb 2024

PARIS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wendesday welcomed the African Union (AU)'s decision to dedicate 2024 to education, given that the continent is home to the largest out-of-school population in the world.

The 37th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of the Heads of State and Government opened on Feb. 17 at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia, under the theme "Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality and relevant learning in Africa."

"This decision of the African Union sends a very strong signal to invest in education as a driver of sustainable development of the continent and to consider the needs of young generations," UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a press release.

According to UNESCO, Africa has now 98 million school-aged children not in education, and 90 percent of those who are in school remain illiterate by the age of 10.

As the UN lead organization for education, UNESCO is determined to support the efforts of African States to achieve universal primary and secondary education and access to quality higher education and research opportunities in Africa, Azoulay added.

Solutions for funding gaps and the teacher shortages will be discussed across the African continent with the UNESCO support this year. An additional 77 billion dollars is required annually for African countries to reach their national education targets and provide quality universal education. Around 15 million teachers must be recruited by 2030 to achieve universal primary and secondary education in Africa, UNESCO said.

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