African Conference on Quality Early Childhood Education and Professionalization of Educators
Evidence shows that educators and teachers are the key driver of quality education. When they are qualified, well trained and supported, and enjoy adequate working conditions, they are able to provide children with quality learning experiences that will lead to positive developmental outcomes and educational success. Given that early childhood education (ECE) represents an important window of opportunity for laying a strong foundation for children’s learning and sustainable development, education systems should pay increased attention to building a teaching workforce that covers the early years and to implementing measures that encourage the professionalization of ECE educators. However, ECE educators are often confronted with a lack of training and professional development opportunities, pedagogical support, career development pathways and adequate working conditions. These challenges need to be urgently addressed so that children’s rights to quality care and education are met from their early years and so that they are empowered to succeed in later schooling and life.
Against this background, the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Kingdom of Morocco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) organized the African Conference on Quality Early Childhood Education and the Professionalization of Educators on 4-5 December 2019 in Casablanca, Morocco, in partnership with the German Development Cooperation (BMZ/GIZ), the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 (TTF), the Moroccan Foundation for the Promotion of Pre-school Education (FMPS), the Regional Center for Quality and Excellence in Education (RCQE) and the Monegasque Cooperation for Development with the support of Royal Air Maroc airlines company (RAM) as official transporter.
The conference brought together participants from 18 African countries, the Conférence des ministres de l’Éducation des États et gouvernements de la Francophonie (CONFEMEN), UNICEF, the World Bank and the Intercountry Quality Node on Early Childhood Development in Africa (ICQN-ECD) to:
- Reaffirm the importance of increasing investment in equitable and quality ECE and the professionalization of ECE educators;
- Exchange good practices, experiences and challenges regarding the professionalization of ECE personnel and the promotion of equitable and quality ECE services.
The Conference culminated in the adoption of the Casablanca Declaration and Call for Action on Quality Early Childhood Education and Professionalization of Educators.