Mauritius summit ends with pledge by education ministers on collective input to development goals

Education ministers from Commonwealth countries ended their 18th conference in Port Louis, Mauritius on Friday 31 August 2012 with a pledge to ensure a strong Commonwealth voice in the process of formulating the next generation of global development goals.

The 1,200 delegates delved on the theme: Education in the Commonwealth: Bridging the Gap as we accelerate towards achieving internationally Agreed Goals (IAGs), and agreed to set up a Commonwealth Ministers Working Group to feed into discussions taking place at the United Nations on a framework for post-2015 anti-poverty targets.

“Ministers noted that unless robust advocacy for the pivotal role of education post-2015 - in the economy, for society, for democracy and for development - is made, there is a risk that it might lose its place in the global priorities,” they said in their final communiqué.

The Mauritius Communiqué acknowledged that solid progress had been made towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals in education and the Education for All goals by 2015, particularly in universal primary education. But they noted that 23.3 million primary age children were still out of school in Commonwealth countries and identified quality education and equal access as common challenges.

Eight African countries were selected to join the working group on recommendations for the post-2015 development framework. They are Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Other members are Bangladesh, Barbados, Cyprus, India, and Papua New Guinea.

The 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers took place from 29 to 31 August and was attended by 39 countries, of which 34 were led by ministers. ADEA was represented by its Executive Secretary, Jean Marie Ahlin Byll-Cataria, and its Chief Education Programme Officer, Hamidou Boukary.

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