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China's aid boosts teacher education in Africa

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-22 08:08

China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said.

Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in a recent interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years.

"We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she says.

China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher-training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of information communication and technology and studio equipment were donated.

Ndong-Jatta says tutors were skilled on how to integrate technology with traditional methods of training.

China through UNESCO is funding an $8 million project aimed at narrowing the educational quality gap on the continent.

The project, Enhancing Teacher Education for Bridging the Education Quality Gap in Africa, aims to accelerate progress toward the achievement of Education for All and the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which is quality education.

The four-year project that started in 2012 focused on providing a sufficient number of qualified teachers in Africa through training programs.

Eight African countries-Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Namibia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Liberia, Tanzania, and Uganda-are benefiting from the program.

Ndong-Jatta says besides cooperation in primary education, China has been cooperating with Africa to boost higher education.

China helped set up the Capacity Building Institute of Teacher Education in Ethiopia, and the regional director says some African countries also had student and teacher exchange programs with China.

She says a conference has been scheduled in Djibouti to discuss how to boost further cooperation with China in the area of higher education.

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