16 July2022 (Bishoftu, Ethiopia): IGAD, GIZ and the Government of Ethiopia (Ministry of Education) Conducted a two-day Consultation meeting on Ethiopia’s Costed National Education Response Plan for the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration on Education for Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities.
The objective of the national consultation meeting is to review the progress in the implementation of the Ethiopian Costed National Education Response Plan for inclusive education and to identify challenges and opportunities in the implementation process; including, generating recommendations on the way forward towards ensuring access to quality education for refugees, returnees and host communities using the costed plan.
Speaking on behalf of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, the Director for Health and Social Development of IGAD Mme. Fathia Alwan, welcomed the participants and lauded the efforts of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for playing its respective roles in facilitating the implementation of the IGAD initiatives.
“We have done a lot in the last four years but we also have a long way to go. We therefore urge all partners and stakeholders to continue to exert maximum efforts to achieve the stated targets in the coming years.” She added.
She also expressed appreciations and sincerely thanks to IGAD partners, notably the government of Germany through GIZ, ECW, UNHCR and others for providing needed financial and technical assistance.
Finally, the Director assured that IGAD and partners have been supporting both the development and implementation of the Djibouti Declaration since its adoption in 2017. The costed plans have helped a lot in identifying key priorities and estimating the costs.
On his opening remarks, Mr Mezgebu Biazen, MOE, executive officer for strategic Affairs said that Ministry of Education is working with all stakeholders to ensure quality education for refugees benefit by cascading regional and national commitments.
Furthermore Mr Mezgebu Biazen emphasized that the deliberations and outcomes of this national consultation meeting will inform and guide our engagement for the next harmonization and integration of refugee education.
Representatives from Ethiopia, as host country as well as including partners GIZ and UNHCR gave their opening remarks.
IGAD was also represented by Dr Kebede Tsegaye, Dr Girum Hailu, Fisseha Meseret and Yemiserach Binalfew.
During the opening of the Meeting Dr. Kebede Tsegayeb, IGAD Senior program coordinator of Education, Science and Technology reminds that IGAD has been tasked to support the development and implementation of multi-year costed national education response plans to ensure inclusive education for refugees, IDPs and returnees, and host communities.
Accordingly, IGAD has been working with member states and partners to develop costed plans. Some of them have already adopted their plans and have already started rolling the implementation. Others like Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya are still working on the elaboration of their plans.
Dr Girum Hailu, the regional coordinator for EU-IGAD COVID_19 Response program said that the National dialogue on 2017 Djibouti Declaration will further accelerate the IGAD and member states agenda of integration of basic services, Education and health to meet the special needs of refugees, migrants in the IGAD region.
The series of national consultations generated important information and knowledge on the status of preparation of national costed plans, which was one of the commitments of IGAD member states and partners. And identified gaps and recommendations to filling them; and agreed on the next steps in terms of the effective implementation of the Ethiopian Costed Plan in order to accelerate inclusive access to quality education for refugees, returnees and host communities in the country.
The national consultations in Ethiopia brought together partners from GIZ, PI, UNESCO, experts from IGAD and participants from relevant government offices, including Ministry of Education, higher education and training institutions and partner agencies.
IGAD has been working with closely relevant partners and stakeholders, including the Government of Germany through GIZ, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNICEF, ECW and the European Union to implement the various actions outlined in the Djibouti Declaration.
Budget for the various activities funded from the IGAD – GIZ/SIMPI Financing Agreement.
IGAD has been supporting member states to develop and implement costed plans for national education response plans towards the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration.
The Djibouti Declaration amplifies the need to accelerate inclusion of refugees into national education systems and ensuring that no one is left behind with regard to access to education, skills development and building competencies.
In 2017, IGAD Member States jointly signed the Djibouti Declaration where, among other areas of action, the development of a Regional Qualifications Framework (RQF) was identified as one of its five strategic interventions.
The IGAD regional interventions in education are informed by the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact on Migration.