WHAT IT MEANS FOR IEPA AS A CATEGORY II STATUS
On Thursday, 12th November 2020, a Signing Ceremony took place at the UNESCO office in Paris to formally complete the process to establish the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA), located at the University of Cape Coast Ghana, as a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa.
Her Excellency Anna Bossman, Ghana's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France and Portugal and Permanent Representative of Ghana to UNESCO, signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Ghana whilst Mrs. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, did same for UNESCO.
Hitherto, In November 2019, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Honourable Minister of Education led the IEPA team and Ghana’s delegation to the 40th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO. The General Conference approved the elevation of IEPA to a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa. The General Conference further authorized the Director-General of UNESCO to sign the corresponding agreement with the Government of Ghana for operations.
The agreement signed, spelt out the commitment of both parties – Ghana and UNESCO - and more specifically, addressed the mandate, responsibilities, and obligations of IEPA.
The operations of IEPA is driven by four key strategic thrusts as follows:
- Build and strengthen capacity of educational planners, leaders and administrators in the West African sub-region.
- Support educational ministries within the sub-region to undertake sector-wide planning, policy development and implementation.
- Promote cutting-edge research, innovation and consultancy in education service delivery.
- Create a platform for, and mobilize educational experts in the sub-region to interrogate educational issues and provide policy advice to Ministries of Education of Member States.
The IEPA as a UNESCO Category II Centre would result in the following:
- Build capacity of the workforce in the education sector in the West African sub-region in the areas of Educational Planning, Leadership and Administration;
- Mobilize international and regional experts to provide technical assistance and policy advice to support sector-wide planning and policy development;
- Harness research and innovation to boost development;
- Build related capacities, preparing policy briefs emanating from research in topical issues of educational equity and efficiency;
- Network for collaborative work on the priority areas of UNESCO.
Ghana is committed to implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The elevation of IEPA to a UNESCO Category II status is part of the commitment of the West African governments to meet the above international agenda for education especially in meeting the SDG 4 which seeks ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.