Thursday, September 16, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Focuses on Improvements In Education

Ministry Puts New Measures in Place as 2010-2011 School Year Begins

In the nation's effort to build a better society through improving the education of its people, Equatorial Guinea's (Rep├║blica de Guinea Ecuatorial) Minister of Education unveiled a new set of standards and requirements for educators for the coming year.

The Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Filiberto Ntutumu Nguema met with principals, teachers and education professionals from schools in Malabo to present the new work plan.

Minister Ntutumu Nguema was joined by Deputy Minister of Education, Secundino Nvono Avomo, Secretary General of the Ministry, Miguel Esono Masogo, and the Counselor to the President for Education, Ondo Esono Asangono Anselmo, gathered with the directors general of the Ministry of Education, district directors and inspectors, principals, teachers and other professionals in the education sector. The purpose of the meeting was to guide the education sector staff on the new system of work and requirements.

During the meeting, Minister Ntutumu Nguema stressed the importance of education in society. "Thinking about general education," one of the highlighted themes, focused on education as the main road to success and teaching as the best vocation one can have. Minister Ntutumu Nguema cited several factors that affect the quality of education, including: teachers and professors, educational infrastructure, educational tools and adequate school buildings.

The next theme cited, "Planning, educational management and legal tools to regulate the functioning of education" focused on new directives for the schools and encouraged the schools to focus on planning and programming. The application of new rules for the 2010-2011 school year were discussed during the meeting, including:

In order to maintain school safety and encourage learning:

• Let peace reign in all schools, including the directors, teachers and students and avoid any conflict
• Prohibit all sharp material such as scissors, razors, etc. and impose expulsion of one week for violation
• Fights between peers require a one month suspension

With regard to discipline:

• The director must remain in their assigned location daily
• Attendance and punctuality, both for the directors, teachers, and for the students, is required
• Any dispute between students and teachers can lead to expulsion

For a quality of education and training it is recommended:

• Conduct training seminars
• Teachers must present the agenda for their classes at the beginning of the course
• Objective assessment of students
• Cleanliness and order in schools
• All students must wear uniforms
• Prohibit all vices and unhealthy behaviors such as counterfeiting grades, sexual harassment, alcoholism, smoking, prostitution among students, etc

At the conclusion of the meeting, Minister Ntutumu Nguema addressed the topic of "School fees" and reminded those present that tuition is free in both the primary and high school levels. He also reminded those present that parents can voluntarily contribute to to the Association of Parents and Students at a cost of 1000 francs CFAs for primary school and 2000 francs CFAS for high school.

Education is one of the priorities outlined in Equatorial Guinea's "Horizon 2020" development plan, which was set in motion by President Obiang to move the country toward a sustainable and emergent economy. The plan includes the construction of new schools and teacher training.