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18-07-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The State Minister for Education of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Ahmedin, yesterday July 17 inaugurated a meeting of education experts tasked with implementing the Djibouti Declaration and Action Plan on Refugee Education in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region which was adopted in December 2017.

The main purpose of this second meeting of the implementation task force was to develop a joint operational plan or roadmap for the country level implementation of the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action in the next three years. The Meeting also deliberated on the state of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and Skills Development in the region.

Participants included IGAD Member States Senior Experts and Directors in Charge of General Education and Higher Education, Refugee Management Agencies, Partner Institutions and the IGAD Secretariat.

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Ahmedin stated his belief that “educating refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees as well as the host communities will contribute to the attainment of peace and stability”. He also announced the “the Ethiopian Parliament approved a bill that allows refugees to enjoy education, employment and other social services opportunities at par with citizens of the country”.

The Acting Director of IGAD Health & Social Development Division, Ms Fathia A. Alwan, thanked UNHCR, the Government of Germany, the European Union, UNESCO and others “for working very closely with IGAD in organizing the Djibouti Conference of IGAD Ministers in charge of Education on Refugee Education in December 2017”. She recalled the numerous IGAD activities towards the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration since.

“IGAD will continue to work with partners and member states in changing the lives of refugees, returnees, IDPs and host communities through quality, accessible, affordable and relevant education at all levels”, she said.

Mr. Robert Bob Prouty for the European Union, Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki for UNESCO, and Ms Marti Romero for the UNHCR expressed support to IGAD in this endeveour.

The following results are expected from the two-day Meeting:

– A clear understanding of the key elements of the Declaration,

– An agreed regional framework on regional quality framework for refugee education with recommendations for adoption by the Ministerial session in December 2018;

– An implementation plan and M&E tools.

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