By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia is hosting the 3rd African continental curriculum conference on education technology and curriculum alignment at the Sir Dawda Jawara conference center in Kololi.
The four-day international conference which runs from May 23rd to may 26th is hosted by the MoBSE and brings together experts in the education, civil society, and research institutions as well as representatives from the private and cooperative sectors from Africa and beyond.
The conference will also include presentations, pioneering sessions, round table discussions, and workshops to share knowledge and good practices on curriculum development and implementation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister Claudiana Cole of Basic and Secondary Education, said the conference represents one of the much-needed strategies for Africa and its respective education policies.
She called it an exciting week in which knowledge and lessons learned across the continent are promised to participants to explore ways to address the mismatch between the school curriculum, teacher education, and learning assessment.
The minister expressed optimism that the conference will provide a platform where participants will explore the potential of technology and innovations to enhance curriculum processes and products necessary for the acquisition of 21st century competencies, knowledge, and skills.
She noted that MOBSE is proud to be associated with the platform created to enable policymakers, practitioners, and experts in the technological space, to engage in dialogue on strategies to holistically address the challenges.
“I once again thank the African Curriculum Association for choosing The Gambia, despite the size and economy for its 3rd edition of the Conference. When the former director of curriculum brought this opportunity to my table, I was initially skeptical about whether we could host such a high-profile conference. I was later convinced because all that was asked for was the political will and my support which I gave in no small measure,” she added.
Momodou Jeng, director of curriculum research, evaluation, and development directorate of The Gambia, recalled that a similar event was hosted by the country about 14 years ago, which brought together educationists and curriculum experts from various parts of Africa to discuss and interrogate the kind of basic education program for the continent that would respond to the development needs of the people.
He called for collaborative and measurable efforts to make curriculum content more relevant and responsive to the development challenges of Africa, saying the challenges of climate change, youth unemployment, migration, extremism, violent conflicts, and the covid-19 pandemic, require thoughtful innovations and rethinking especially with systems that relied for a long time only on the traditional face to face way of lesson delivery.
Director Jeng added that the education technology and curriculum alignment as the theme of this conference implies a paradigm shift in the teaching pedagogies, assessment, examination designs, and tools.