Wednesday, April 23, 2008
ORANGEBURG – South Carolina State University’s interim president Dr. Leonard A. McIntyre and the director of SC State’s Textbooks and Learning Materials Program (TLMP) Lamin E. Drammeh were among more than 200 education professionals from 21 Sub-Saharan African countries and the United States who recently traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to participate in the Africa Regional Education Workshop. The Workshop, whose theme was “Education in a Changing World, From Vision to Action,” was organized and sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Coordinated by Dr. Sarah E. Moten, USAID, Africa Bureau Education Division Chief, the Workshop began with greetings from the president of Ethiopia, His Excellency Mr. Girma Woldegiorgis. During his opening remarks President Woldegiorgis offered thanks to the citizens of the United States through USAID for organizing the Workshop and for choosing Ethiopia as host.
Moten welcomed Workshop participants by saying, “Every African child deserves a quality education and this Workshop is where we learn from each other and set the agenda.” The keynote address was given by Dr. Dzingai Mutumbuka.
Mutumbuka, chairman of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) reflected on the progress and the challenges both socially and economically in sub-Saharan Africa. “An overloaded or ‘one size fits all’ curriculum does not serve the diverse needs of students,” he said. “The problems are compounded by the loss of teachers and other valued professionals due to HIV/AIDS. In some countries where the epidemic is very high, it will take decades for the education system to recover,” he continued.
During the week long workshop, President McIntyre and Mr. Drammeh presented a technical paper entitled ‘Science at Secondary Level: Capacity Building through Collaboration in Zanzibar.’ SC State is one of six U.S. universities implementing Textbooks and Learning Materials Programs (TLMP) in Africa, funded by USAID. SC State is partnered with Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania to develop science textbooks at the secondary level.
Also, during the Workshop a myriad of outstanding presentations were delivered by education leaders from Africa, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the private sector and the U.S. Government through USAID, all addressing the first hand needs to expanding access to ‘Education For All’ (EFA) in Africa.
Plenary speakers included: Dr. Sintayehu Woldemichael, Ethiopian minister of education, Dr. Cindy Courville, U.S. ambassador to the African Union, Dr. Donald Yamamoto, United States ambassador to Ethiopia, Mrs. Azeb Mesfin Woldegiorgis, the First Lady of Ethiopia, Dr. Aicha Bah Daillo, former asst. director general for Education, UNESCO, ambassador Charles Stith, African Presidential Archives and Research Center, Boston University, and Hon. Dr. Becky Ndjoze Ojo, Namibian deputy minister of education.