The African Union (AU) is working towards a standardized system of education for all African countries to promote quality education and skills transfer across the continent, an AU official said on Friday.
Dr. Martail De-Paul Ikounga, AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology told journalists in Johannesburg that the plan is to standardize the entire African education system from pre-school to the university level.
Ikounga was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing 25th AU Summit.
"This will allow the movement of goods, services and population in the continent. " said the commissioner.
"When a child has spent 10 years learning in one country, he or she should be able to move to another country and continue where he or she left. We want the level of qualifications for each grade or degree to be the same in all our countries," Ikounga added.
He said different countries were expected to cooperate and work together at different levels to bring about this uniformity while ensuring delivery of quality education.
Ikounga noted, "We have to start at the national level down to the private learning institutions. Our universities will have to create platforms where they can understand each other in order to make this dream a reality."
Critics of the standardization plan say such a move will kill diversity in the continent and lead to poor education considering that some countries have low budgets for educational development programmes.
However, Ikounga disagreed, saying, "We have heard those questioning the harmonization plan and their fear that it will kill diversity. The orchestra have many instruments but when they are played together they all agree and produce one solid good music to the ear. If done well, harmonization and standardization of our educational programmes will lead to quality education."
Ikounga said the African Union had already 55 research centres in different regions of the continent and said these will be very useful in the implementation of this standardization programme.