Boston University to Host Conference on the Right to Education in Africa

Contact: Erin Whipple, 617-358-1688 |

Boston – Boston University’s School of Education will host a conference on the Right to Education as guaranteed by international and national laws, with special focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Held April 2-5, the first several days (April 2-4) will be reserved for a closed working group of experts from Africa, Europe and North America to meet. On April 5, a forum will be held where members of the public are encouraged to engage with the experts on issues surrounding the Right to Education.

This conference is part of a series of regional meetings organized by Professor Jan De Groof, who was recently appointed Chargé de mission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Right to Education initiative. Boston University School of Education Dean Ad Interim, Charles Glenn, is a member of the task force that Professor De Groof has established to support him in carrying out UNESCO’s mission.

The closed working groups will meet for the purpose of helping UNESCO formulate legal supports and international standards for the Right to Education in Africa. Specifically, the groups will elaborate upon the document titled “Indicators for Measuring the Quality of Educational Legislation,” developed by a group of specialists at UNESCO education law and policy meetings in July and October, 2007.

The public forum, held on Saturday, April 5 from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM is open to anyone interested in joining the experts for an open discussion. Topics will include successes and difficulties in securing the Right to Education in Africa, as well as how Americans and others can participate in advocating for and promoting Education for All in Africa and other developing nations. The forum will be held at the Boston University School of Education (Room 130, 2 Sherborn Street, Boston).

“As home to an International Educational Development program known worldwide, it will be exciting for the BU community to join in this consultation about how to make the right to a good education a reality for every child and youth in Africa,” said Dean Ad Interim, Charles Glenn.

Participating experts include: Sayo Aoki, UNICEF Education Specialist in DR Congo; Johnson Ishengoma, Tanzania; André Keet, South Africa; Aymérou Mbaye, Senegal; Célestin Monga, World Bank, Cameroon; Aboudou Mroivili, The Comoros Islands; Judith Oder, Uganda; Abdoulaye Sounaye, Niger; James Pritchett, BU African Studies Center; Vivian and Willard Johnson, USA; and Miguel Angel Sancho, organizer of the up-coming regional conference for Latin America.

The Right to Education is an internationally recognized right. It is at the heart of UNESCO‘s mission, and central to the Education for All (EFA) process. The Constitution of UNESCO expresses the belief of its founders in “full and equal opportunities for education for all.”

Established in 1918, Boston University’s School of Education serves a diverse student body of 400 undergraduate and 600 graduate students, 112 of whom are pursuing the doctoral degree. It has 52 full-time faculty, numerous adjunct faculty, and 40 staff. In addition to a significant focus on preparing education professionals, the school is regarded highly for programs in the fields of literacy, mathematics education, deaf studies, international educational development, special education and science education. It is further distinguished by its productive partnerships with local school districts, most notably in Chelsea and Boston.