THE Assistant Director General of Education of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mr Nicholas Burnet, has said that $8.3 billion is needed annually in Africa to achieve education for all under the Millennium Development Goals.
He said even though there had been significant increases in aid to the educational sector since 2000, these were not enough, as only $1.5 million was allocated to basic education.
Mr Burnet who was speaking to journalists at the Press Centre in Accra, stressed that a remarkable characteristic of the last century in Africa was the number enrolled in basic schools.
The Assistant Director General who arrived in the country to participate in the Accra Aid Effectiveness Forum and push for more funds for education and its effective utilisation, noted that there were still significant challenges to address in the educational sector.
For instance, 10 per cent of children of school-age were not in school, and half that number was in Africa. Apart from that, there are also issues of quality education, and this is why there is the need to support governments and parents to meet that challenge through increased aid to the sector and its effective use.
By participating in the forum, Mr Burnet said UNESCO would influence the outcome of aid flows and their use, as well as the participation and involvement of the citizenry and governments in the process.
Mr Burnet said the Press Centre had benefited from significant resources from UNESCO.
He visited the UNESCO ASPnet ICT Centre at the Osu Home Junior Secondary School, set up in 2004 with funding from UNESCO.
Seven other schools in the area, namely, Estate 1 and 2, Anglican 1 and 2, Manle Dada, African Unity and Tenashie also use the centre.
In all, about 1,000 pupils are benefiting from basic training in computer skills at the centre.
Mr Burnet and other officials from UNESCO interacted with the teachers and students.
DAILY GRAPHIC, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2008, PG 11