ARUSHA - Experts from Partner States of the East African Community (EAC) are gearing up efforts towards harmonizing education systems in the region.
At a two-day meeting held in Arusha, on Wednesday, EAC senior officials from the ministries of education discussed harmonization of curricula to increase employment opportunities as well as enhance free movement of labour in the region.
“We discussed harmonization of curricula and education systems like examinations, quality assurance systems and the structure of education from primary to secondary,” said Charles Gahima, the Director General of the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC).
“What is evident is that there is need for equal recognition of certificates and levels of education in the region.”
During the meeting, the senior officials received an inception report on harmonization of the curricular, and they will be meeting again to discuss the final report by the East African Council of Universities.
“We are giving them only two months after which we shall come back and discuss it before its final adoption,” Gahima added. The report will highlight the similarities and differences in the education systems of partner states.
According to Gahima, harmonizing education systems will mean that students in East Africa who complete primary or secondary education can easily enroll in any school or university in the region.
He however cautioned that the move will not address uniformity in all aspects, adding that some elements in the education systems of partner states will remain.
“There are aspects that are specifically or contextually for a particular country. For instance Rwanda may be interested in subjects like national reconciliation, Information Communication Technology and Entrepreneurship which may not interest other countries,” Gahima said, adding that those that find them good may adopt them.
Currently, the East African region is characterized by unemployment mostly blamed on the different education systems which do not enable equal consideration of academic qualifications by all the five EAC countries.