Universiteit Leiden

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Education for Life in Africa

Friday 19 May 2017 - Saturday 20 May 2017
The Hague University of Applied Sciences
Johanna Westerdijkplein 75
The Hague

The present international community is striving for “Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education” (Sustainable Development Goal 4). This target has replaced the endeavor of “Universal Primary Education” (Millennium Development Goal 2). To celebrate the 20thanniversary of the Netherlands Association for Africa Studies (NVAS), the three partners NVAS, NUFFIC and HHS are organizing a two-day conference on the theme “Education for life in Africa” (May 19-20, 2017), assuming that quality education will indeed equip students better for life, but wondering about what constitutes good quality education. The aim of this conference is to provide a forum for stakeholders of education in Africa: researchers, practitioners, teachers, policy makers, sponsors and consumers, to exchange ideas about how to attain and sustain quality at all levels of education in Africa, from the basic to the tertiary level, from academic to vocational training.

Sustainable development can only be attained when individuals and groups have the tools to adapt to local circumstances and make them work for the wider community. Education should provide these tools. The focus of the conference is on the quality of education, where the goal of good quality education is understood to be education that prepares its participants for both civil and professional life by equipping them with appropriate attitude, knowledge and skills. We hope that through the conference, our understanding of this process will be enhanced by asking and answering questions such as: How can we attain an efficient transmission and acquisition of knowledge through the whole educational system from preschool to university level teaching? How can knowledge acquired at research centers be used to improve forms and contents of all types of education? Where can theoreticians and practitioners meet to exchange information? Is it necessary to redefine standards of education, to change forms of cooperation in order to enable children and students to better address present and future problems of life? What forms of knowledge will lead to more employment?

These and many more questions can be discussed and debated around four themes that are, next to the political and economic context, the main prerequisites for good quality education: curriculum, teachers, infrastructure and resources.


The conference will consist of keynote lectures, poster presentations and oral paper presentations organised in thematic panels on the questions of education in Africa. The plenary sessions are one hour long while the parallel panels and general sessions are in two-hour blocks. Each session is two hours and consists of four twenty minute presentations each followed by ten minutes discussion.

Conference programme (preliminary)

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