The theme of the conference is 'Access to Quality Education: for the Good of All'. 27 million children in the Commonwealth are denied the right to primary education.
13 November 2006
'Access to Quality Education: for the Good of All' is the theme of the conference
The 16th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (16CCEM) will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 11 to 14 December 2006. The theme of the conference is 'Access to Quality Education: for the Good of All'.
Held triennially, these conferences provide an opportunity for Commonwealth education ministers to exchange views and discuss developments in education, review progress over the past three years, and develop strategies for future work. The previous CCEM took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, at the end of 2003.
The 16CCEM agenda will include a mix of plenary discussions and committees, providing a forum to share experiences, best practices and successful strategies.
The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University in the US. Professor Mamdani is a chief adviser to the United Nations High Level Panel on Alliance of Civilisations for 2005-06.
Within the context of the main theme, ministers are expected to address such issues as the sustainability of universal primary education and the expansion of the secondary education sector. Some 27 million children in the Commonwealth are denied the right to primary education.
“This conference provides an opportunity for Commonwealth Ministers of Education to reaffirm their commitment to getting every child into school, and to share and discuss strategies for achieving progress towards this common goal,” said Dr Henry Kaluba, the Head of Education Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Ministers are also expected to consider the role of the teaching profession in relation to the quality of education, what constitutes a quality education in today’s globalised world, and the role of the non-state sector in education.
The conference will also receive reports from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth of Learning. It will endorse work plans for both organisations and agree priority areas of work for the next three years.
Alongside the main ministerial conference, 16CCEM will incorporate three parallel events: a Youth Forum, a Stakeholders’ Forum (for civil society and the private sector), and -- for the first time -- a Teachers’ Forum.
Another development for this conference is the introduction of the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards. Nine finalists, from Commonwealth ministries of education, civil society and non-governmental organisations, have been chosen to present their education good practices at the 16CCEM closing ceremony on 14 December. Six Good Practice Awards will be awarded in total.
The ministers will receive statements from the Youth, Teachers’ and Stakeholders’ Forums. They are expected to issue a ministerial communiqué and a message to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Uganda in 2007.