Sunday, May 26, 2013

Equatorial Guinea's Political Parties Discuss Plans to Improve Nation's Education Sector

Equatorial Guinea’s major political parties are working to increase investment in the education sector, according to their platforms and recent interviews with candidates. 

Education continues to be a priority for the government of Equatorial Guinea. They have been utilizing its oil wealth to build upon the country’s sectors, including education, through a development plan called Horizon 2020. The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), the current majority political party in the country, plans to continue its support to expand the education sector across the country and improve the quality of it to move Equatorial Guinea towards a self-sufficient and growing economy.

In reference to the education sector, the PDGE plans to hire more professors to reduce the student-to-professor ratio, establish a research fund and implement a scholarship system for all education levels, including technical professions and university students abroad. The party wants to expand the mandatory and free-of-cost education until the second grade.

In addition, PDGE plans to build special education centers, establish boarding schools in all provinces and continue its support toward improving learning centers. The party aims to provide free-of-cost medical and pharmaceutical services for Equatoguinean students and build more universities and schools in Malabo, Bata and Oyala, in order to improve the country’s education quality.

The PDGE's rival political party, the Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), has put forth an alternative education plan.

In a recent interview, Andres Esono, communications secretary of the CPDS and candidate standing for election from Malabo for the opposition party shared similar education objectives to those of PDGE. CPDS plans to build more schools in the capital city of Malabo to provide Equatorial Guinea’s youth with better education and jobs.

“We plan to build eight secondary schools and two professional training centers,” Esono said. “Our platform will provide better training for our professors. We plan to give 500 scholarships for students to go attend universities abroad.”

Mr. Esono also shared his party’s objective to partner with companies in Equatorial Guinea and offer internships for university students.

As expressed in recent interviews with candidates, improving the education sector is a top priority for all Equatorial Guinea’s participating political parties. They continue to campaign throughout the country in preparation for the upcoming elections on May 26th.