The East African Community (EAC) has developed and adopted seven strategic education plans aimed at integrating the education sector across the region. These plans will cover all levels of education, from pre-primary to tertiary, including technical and vocational education and training, special-needs education, and continuing and non-formal education. The EAC Secretary General, Peter Mathuki, confirmed the regional bloc’s commitment to harmonizing education systems and training curricula to ensure seamless integration in the sector.
Mathuki said that the EAC is working to sustain EAC scholarship programs through the Inter-University Council of East Africa and various EAC centers of excellence. The council’s scholarship programs have already facilitated an increase in the number of students studying in member states of the bloc. Visa requirements for students have also been eased in line with the commitments under the EAC Common Market Protocol.
During the opening session of a three-day conference of Kenya Secondary Schools’ Heads Association for Machakos County at the EAC headquarters in Tanzania’s Arusha city, Mathuki praised the role of teachers in transforming society and urged them to sensitize their students on the integration process and its attendant benefits.
“The education sector is a crucial contributor to the EAC integration process,” said Mathuki. “Therefore, I request you to become our goodwill ambassadors to ensure ownership of the integration process by the people at the grassroots.”
The EAC, which includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda, has taken significant strides towards regional integration in various sectors. These education plans mark a significant move towards the harmonization of education systems across the region.
For the most part, the adoption of these plans will promote consistency in education and facilitate the free flow of knowledge and skills across the region. They will also create a more inclusive and integrated education sector that is better equipped to address the challenges facing the region. The EAC’s efforts towards regional integration will continue to strengthen economic, social, and political ties among member states.