Bringing the General History of Africa Into Education Curricula in Africa and Beyond

UNESCO experts from 15 countries met in Geneva, Switzerland on 7-9 March 2023, for a first-of-its-kind workshop to discuss ways to promote and mainstream the General History of Africa (GHA) in education and the curriculum across Africa and beyond. 

This meeting brought together over 30 experts that analyzed existing tools and educational materials on the topic and identified key content and approaches underpinning the successful incorporation of GHA into education programmes and curricula. UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (UNESCO-IBE) hosted the workshop, which was jointly organized with two UNESCO sectors – Education and Priority Africa and External Relations – and with the support from Social and Human Sciences.  

Building on the workshop results, UNESCO-IBE will develop a set of GHA pedagogical modules to be integrated into its Curriculum Resource Pack (CRP). The CRP draws on cases studies, best practices and analysis of efficient education strategies and approaches from different regions and fields of knowledge, offering a global, cross-cutting view of critical and candent curriculum and learning issues and trends. It will be provided as a tool to promote and mainstream the GHA in the continent’s schools and those of the diaspora.

“We must go beyond the simple dissemination of the General History of Africa. It needs to be institutionally anchored in education systems at all levels – formal, non-formal and informal.”

– Firmin Edouard Matoko, UNESCO Assistant-Director General for Priority Africa and External Relations.

What was discussed at the workshop?

Experts presented the current state of integration of the GHA in African education systems and those of other countries. Kenya, the first African country to incorporate the GHA into the school curricula for upper primary and junior secondary levels, took a spiral approach to its mainstreaming and used the existing GHA pedagogical materials as a basis.  Some of the other ongoing GHA education initiatives at the national and sub-regional levels were showcased at the meeting as well.

Workshop participants also discussed ways to further engage youth in Africa and in the diaspora, as young people are both beneficiaries and key actors in advocating the relevance of the GHA.

What are the next steps?

Experts proposed and agreed on a conceptual framework and a timebound roadmap for developing the GHA pedagogical modules to be included in UNESCO-IBE’s CRP and key initiatives to foster partnerships across a wide range of actors and ensure political support and country engagement.

“The GHA is one of the most transformative tools we have to implement the ambitious action plan to make education a ‘great enabler’. We must push this initiative forward and ensure commitment and actions by all countries across Africa and beyond the continent”, said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.

Source : UNESCO

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