2nd International Conference on Education Research for Development in Africa Held

The second annual International Conference on Education Research for Development in Africa (ICERDA 2016) has been held at the Alisa Hotel, Accra under the theme: “Towards a Vision of Education for Sustainable Development in Africa”.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Chairman of the conference, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, highlighted the importance of education and the vital role it plays in the lives of people. Not only does education produce numerate and literate citizens and is therefore a form of human capital, it has positive impact on general well-being as well as being more profitable than many other physical activities.” Professor Owusu also stressed the importance of conversations about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and most importantly, its related actions as the building blocks needed for the realistic attainment of the SDGs in Africa and beyond. He then commended conferences on education development such as ICERDA for providing the platform for discussions and decisions that aim to move nations closer to the achievement to the SDGs. He concluded on the note that he would encourage all participants to engage in constructive discussions using their expertise to bring about sustainable educational development in Africa.

Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana

Earlier in his welcome address, Rev. Professor Cephas Omenyo, the Provost of the College of Education, University of Ghana, recounted how beneficial the conference would be for all stakeholders. He touched on the issues of development in education and the partnership between University of Ghana and University of Sussex. Professor Omenyo was hopeful that the partnership, coupled with ICERDA, would help the University of Ghana to attain its vision of being a world-class research intensive University by the year 2020. He was delighted some graduate students of the University were participating in the 2016 conference.

Rev. Professor Cephas Omenyo, Provost of the College of Education

Professor Brian Hudson, a professor of Education and formerly the Head of School and Education and Social Work, University of Sussex in brief remarks welcomed the special guest in the person of Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana. He indicated that the conference is a culmination of a two-year project funded by the International Partnership Development Fund at the University of Sussex.

Professor Brian Hudson, Professor of Education, University of Sussex

The first keynote speaker, Emeritus Professor Keith Lewin, University of Sussex, engaged conference participants on the topic: “WILL THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) DISRUPT UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN EDUCATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA?” He revealed that the SDGs are a list and not a recipe for development. “They fail to combine needs for new knowledge and skill with aspirations for the political economy of equity, distribution and accumulation within a theory of education and development. “There is nothing in the new SDG text that really explains how the goals and targets are any more or less likely to lead to sustainable development than the previous ones. Without social cohesion and economic growth, we are at risk.” He stated.

Emeritus Professor Keith Lewin, Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex

Delivering the second keynote address on the topic: “EDUCATION RESEARCH IN CHALLENGING CONTEXT: RESLIENCE AND CULTURAL CAPITAL”, Professor Liesel Ebersohn from University of Pretoria, South Africa, stressed how education in a challenging context can benefit from existing pathways to promote resilience in teaching and learning.

Professor Liesel Ebersohn, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana and the Secretary General for African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) delivered the third and final keynote address on MAKING EDUCATION WORK FOR DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA. He noted that, if governments are going to devote significant resources to education, they should have legitimate expectation of what education can deliver to national development.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, former VC of the University of Ghana and Secretary General for African Research Universities Alliance

This year’s conference therefore offered the opportunity to researchers, academics and practitioners in development to present research findings on education and related fields, collate analytical reviews, and encourage policy dialogue in the context of Africa’s development. Research presented centred on socio-cultural issues in Mathematics education, innovative pedagogical practices and alternative basic education, assessing the role of non-state actors in education and the politics of education in Africa.

The conference also witnessed the launch of the Journal of Education and Development (JEDA), a journal of ICERDA which invites full paper submissions for review by its international editorial board for publication in early 2017. The conference also launched the Ghana Education Research Association (GERA).

There was a guest presentation by T-TEL, on “TRANSFORMING COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN GHANA: EDUCATING TEACHERS FOR A BETTER GHANA”. In commemorating World Teacher’s Day which fell on October 4, there was a panel discussion on the topic, “Successes and Challenges of Teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa”.

The Conference Director was Professor Kwame Akyeampong. Members of the Conference Organising Committee were Rev. Prof. Cephas Omenyo, Associate Director, Professor Jonathan Fletcher, Associate Director, Dr. Ato Essuman, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Associate Director, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, Associate Director, Emeritus Professor Keith Lewin, Committee Advisor, Professor Brian Hudson, Committee Advisor, Pearl Boateng, Executive Conference Coordinator and Dr. Ernest Ampadu, Conference Coordinator.

The goal of the conference was to promote significant and reasonable progress in education for sustainable development. The conference revealed education stories of development and progress in Africa. It also sought to review the past and present practices and plan the future of educational investment. The theme was in line with the country’s vision for education, which is captured by SDG 4: ‘‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all”. The conference which was attended by more than 200 local and international participants included scholars and researchers with a strong interest in education from over 15 countries.

Pictures from the conference.

Website: http://www.icerda-africa.org/icerda-2016-gallery/

Click here for the profile of UniBank Ghana, Official Sponsor, ICERDA 2016