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Congo seeks help from Oman on Education

A view of the majestic audience at Global Education for All meeting
Muscat, (Oman): As far as education is concerned, Democratic Republic of Congo is on the verge of a collapse. Country’s Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon says: ““More than 3.5mn children in Congo are out of school. We need to build 20,000 schools and pay salaries to 80,000 primary school teachers”. He revealed the horrifying facts of Congo on Education front in a recently held Education Convention at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Oman.

And the case of Congo has come up as a hot discussion point during the first “Global Education for All” convention. Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo explained the challenges his country faces on the education front.

He also appealed for a constructive partnership with Oman. “Though we have not decided the structure and type of collaboration, we will look into the areas which can be worked upon. Oman is an extremely progressive nation and its achievement in education is laudable.”- he said in the meeting.

Irina Bokova, director general, Unesco in her opening speech, condemned the abduction of more than 270 girls in Nigeria by extremist groups.

Highlighting educational achievements across the world, Irina spoke about the programmes launched in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. But she said that Unesco’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report shows, “we are not there yet”.

Quoting the report, Irina said 57million children and 69million adolescents in the world still do not have access to education. Of these half of them live in conflict zones. “Basic education is underfunded by US$26bn a year and international aid is declining especially when countries need it the most,” she said.

H E Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed bin Nassir al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education, Oman said: “The most prominent challenges that still face the world lies in the fact that there are 57 million children who are still unrolled in school and around 774 million illiterate adults in addition to 250 million children are not equipped with basic skills. The GMR also indicated that the discrepancies between males and females still exist in many countries. At the regional level, there are 4 million children who are unrolled in schools and there are about 50 million illiterate adults in Arab countries. Furthermore, there are other challenges which are associated with achievement of quality education and appropriateness of education outcomes to labor market. Results demonstrated poor levels of students’ performance in Arab countries in international studies. The percentage of secondary education leavers and university graduates who joined the labor market is not more than 40 %.”

The Global Education for All meeting reviewed the progress of educational goals that were set 15 years ago. The conference opened under the auspices of H H Sayyid Asaad bin Tariq al Said, representative of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, prime minister of Congo, H E Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed bin Nassir al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education, Kate Gilmore, Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Populations Fund and other dignitaries.

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