African youth push for education budget boost

African youth push for education budget boost
Plan International Kenya Country Director Lennart Reinius speaks at the Youth Dialogue on Education conference

Youth representatives from 15 African countries have urged governments to increase budgetary allocation towards education by 20 percent to boost the quality of education.

In a memorandum presented to Education Ministers at the ongoing high-level Pan-African Conference on Education (PACE), the youth representatives emphasized the need to have increased budgets to cater for ICT-based learning, building and equipping more schools in rural areas and investing in specialized schools for students living with disability.

“Improvement in spending efficiency through better teacher allocation, capacity development, training and remuneration is important towards achieving quality education in Africa,” the memorandum reads in part.

The young people developed the memorandum during a two-day Youth Dialogue of Education conference in Nairobi organized by Plan International in Nairobi.

According to the students, there is need to increase funding to improving learning conditions especially for those living with disabilities.

“The government should address such challenges. Those of us living with disability also need specialized schools in all areas to ensure we also access education,” said Patricia Kamene, a visually impaired youth representative from Kenya who is also a student at Thika School for the Blind.

The youth also petitioned Africa’s policy makers to also generate and implement Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses to empower girls and boys by harnessing their skills, capabilities and creativity.

They also called on governments to leverage on technology and strengthen information systems in the advancement of education goals.

This includes training of teachers to ensure their competency to deliver on relevant ICT training for the 21st century.

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