A new forum is set to empower deans of education in Africa to tackle common challenges and find innovative solutions to issues such as inadequate funding, insufficient teacher training, and limited access to educational resources. The Pan-African Deans of Education Forum (PADEF) is being established under the leadership of Universities South Africa (USAf), representing 16 public universities. The forum aims to address these obstacles and promote the development of teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa.
Recognizing the pivotal role of education in societal development, the deans envision PADEF as a platform for sharing experiences, best practices, and case studies in educational leadership, management, pedagogy, and research. Through collaboration and support, the deans aim to transform teacher education in their respective countries and contribute to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 4, which focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
The official launch of PADEF is scheduled to take place on July 24, 2023, at Makerere University in Uganda. This coincides with Day One of the 2023 Distance Education and Teachers' Training in Africa (DETA) Conference, organized by the University of Pretoria. The strategic decision to align the PADEF launch with the conference aims to optimize the gathering of critical stakeholders in one place.
During the launch event, the terms of reference for PADEF will be adopted, and a steering committee will be elected by the collective of African deans. While the forum aims to attract all education deans in sub-Saharan Africa, participation in PADEF will remain voluntary. The deans envision their involvement in PADEF to extend beyond the continent, with the aim of playing a role in shaping education on a global scale.
The establishment of PADEF signifies a significant step towards addressing the challenges faced by African education systems. With the collective expertise and collaborative efforts of education deans from across the continent, PADEF has the potential to drive positive change in teacher education, improve access to quality education resources, and enhance the overall education landscape in Africa and beyond. The forum is poised to make a lasting impact on education systems, empower educators, and pave the way for a brighter future for students across Africa.
Article by Jed Mwangi