Estates General of National Education and Mariatou Koné

Speech by Mariatou Koné on April 11, 2022 during the National Days of the States General of National Education and Literacy (EGENA) on April 11, 12, 13.

 Prime Minister, Head of Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire;
 Mr. President of the National Assembly;
 Mr President of the SENATE;
 Mr President of the Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Council;
 Mr. Inspector General of State;
 Mr. President of the Chamber of Kings and Traditional Chiefs of Côte d’Ivoire;
 Dear Ministers of State;
 Ladies and Gentlemen Ministers;
 Honorable Ministers and Governors;
 Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of political parties;
 Dear Sir or Madam, members of diplomatic missions accredited in Côte d’Ivoire;
 Dear Representatives of regional and sub-regional organizations;
 Distinguished resident representatives of United Nations organizations;
 Ms. Director of Operations of the World Bank in Côte d’Ivoire;
 Mr. Representative of the International Monetary Fund;
 Mr President of the African Development Bank Group;
 Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of bilateral and multilateral partners;
 Madame, the leader of the local group of educational partners;
 Distinguished representatives of the private sector;
 Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of the public universities of Côte d’Ivoire;
 Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of the foundations;
 Dear Sir/Madam, Members of the Prefectural Corps of Abidjan Autonomous Prefecture;
 Dear employees of the Ministry of National Education and Literacy;
 Dear Sir or Madam, general directors, central and department heads of the public administration;
 Venerable religious leaders;
 Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of women’s, youth and student organizations;
 Dear friends of the press;
 guests of honor;
 Ladies and gentlemen

To begin my remarks, I would like to thank you very much for responding, through the Ministry of National Education and Literacy, to the appeal of the State of Côte d’Ivoire and the Ivorian nation, thereby showing the great interest that we all have have in the education of the daughters and sons of this country. The opportunity seems well chosen to pay special tribute to the entire educational community, the technical and financial partners, as well as all components of the national society for your presence, which fits into the dynamics of your engagement in the service of the Ivorian educational system.

guests of honor
Ladies and gentlemen,
Here we are at the States General of National Education and Literacy (EGENA) meetings. I am pleased to say that after ten months (July 2021-April 2022) of exchange, sharing and consultation, we have arrived at the conclusions and recommendations that will be the subject of this work. The organization of these meetings is the culmination of considerable joint work done since the official launch of EGENA on July 19, 2021 at the Sofitel Hôtel Ivoire by the Prime Minister, Mr. Patrick Jérôme ACHI.
From that date to today, several steps have been taken:

Information and awareness campaigns aimed at the population throughout the national territory from August 30 to September 10, 2021 to make the exercise inclusive;

regional consultations from October 27 to November 5, 2021 to gather input from grassroots communities;

District Consultations from November 29 to December 15, 2021 to consolidate contributions collected in the regions;

the digital platform launched on October 26, 2021 to collect individual contributions, because every vote counts;

Thematic consultations from 17 January to 11 February 2022 to collect the opinions and contributions of experts and partners in the education/training sector on the seven selected topics, namely: (1) education policy; (2) Inclusion, Equal Opportunity and Gender: All in School (3) Quality of Teaching and Learning (4) Internal and External Relevance and Efficiency, Controlling Flows and Bridging Classes, Planning for Emergencies and Crisis
(5) learning society; (6) governance and management, including social dialogue and funding mechanisms; (7) Digitization of the education system: challenges and perspectives;

the creation of the working summary in February 2022;

Validation of the Summary Report by the Scientific Committee on March 21-23, 2022;

Summary report to be presented to the Steering Committee on April 5, 2022.

These national assises of the school combine in their objectives the vision of the social program of a “Solidarity of the Ivory Coast” centered on the people, the program of the President of the Republic, SEM Alassane Ouattara. He made education one of the government’s priorities once he became chief justice. By ordering compulsory schooling, it offers all children in our country the opportunity to make use of their right to education. This leads to significant investments in school infrastructure and human resources. This clearly shows the commitment of the President of the Republic and I quote: “Education is not an expense, it is an investment”.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the President of the Republic and that of the entire national educational community for the special attention he has given to the Organization of the States General for National Education and Literacy.

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Prime minister,
Allow me, at this point of my remarks, to acknowledge your continued support for this demanding task, which you recognized from the start not only for our educational system but also for the government’s ambitions that you drive so efficiently. The results we have achieved today are the result of your always benevolent and constructive leadership.

We made this trip with the technical and financial education partners in Côte d’Ivoire. Your support has been vital in every way. In particular, it allowed national teams to refine their analyzes in terms of comparative studies and best practices at international level. I thank them for the exemplary character and quality of this partnership for the benefit of the Ivorian school.

I would also like to express my gratitude to all actors in the educational community: parents, children, men, women, institutional actors, NGOs, civil society organizations, trade unions, political parties, religious organizations, community leaders for their extraordinary mobilization on the occasion of EGENA and for their enriching contribution to the Reflection on the future of the Ivorian school.

The fruitful exchanges with which you have enriched each other at all levels of national consultation, the review of sectoral and thematic studies have allowed you to systematically diagnose the problems of the school, identify the challenges, formulate recommendations, in short recommend , medium and long-term measures for its transformation.

guests of honor
Ladies and gentlemen,
The desire to offer quality education to all is a constant in national education policy. The constant concern for readjusting the educational system to adapt it to the realities of a rapidly changing society led to the organization of several consultations on the Ivorian school, respectively in 1977, 1985, 1993 and 1994. The present meeting represents a further step towards a new social pact and the search for excellence around the school.
The National Stands for Education and Literacy (EGENA) were therefore founded in order to shape the education system together by placing “the success of the learner at the center of all pedagogical measures”.

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guests of honor
Ladies and gentlemen,
These days aim at the national validation of the results of the work of the States General for National Education and Literacy.
Specifically, these days are about:

Present the results of all work to the participants;

Discuss the results of the work;

Gather opinions, recommendations and suggestions from participants;

Validate the final document.
Everyone involved these days must remember that education is a right for every child, a duty for all parents, an obligation for the whole community. It is our shared responsibility to ensure a quality education for all of our children, as education remains the best way to prepare and equip our children with the skills needed to assert themselves and in an increasingly demanding and growing world more competitive employability to succeed.

Given your experience and your skills, I have no doubt for a moment that you will do everything you can to achieve the goals of this conference. Expected from this work are proposals for strong policies that can lead to profound changes in the education system. Together we must rethink the future of Ivorian education to provide our children with tools for self-realization and to elevate Côte d’Ivoire to the level of nations whose internal and external efficiency of education systems is recognized worldwide.

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guests of honor
Ladies and gentlemen,
I cannot end my remarks without repeating my gratitude for the school’s impact to all those who work with the educational community on a daily basis. Allow me to connect with this recognition all those who preceded me in this position and who to this day have made it possible for our country to have a resilient school that is constantly looking for excellence. Finally, I would also like to sincerely thank the international community and the technical and financial partners who support us. We rightly measure their contributions.
Complete success of our work!
Great success at the Ivorian school!
Thank you for your attention

Prof. Mariatou KONE

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