COTAE Trains Media, CSO Actors

-On Abidjan Principles On The Right To Education, Other Treaties Regarding Rights To Education

(L-R), Participants, Mr. Anderson Miamen displays hardcopy of the Abidjan Principles

By Reuben Sei Waylaun

The Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE), an education right group has trained media and civil society actors to help ensure the full implementation of the Abidjan Principles which guaranteed citizens’ rights to quality and free education as an essential human right.

The Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of states to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education were adopted in Côte d’Ivoire, following a three-year participatory consultation and drafting process.

The Abidjan Principles promises to be the new reference point for governments, educators and education providers when debating the respective roles and duties of states and private actors in education.

They compiled and unpacked existing legal obligations that states have regarding the delivery of education, and in particular the role and limitations of private actors in the provision of education.

They provide more details about what international human rights law means by drawing from other sources of law and existing authoritative

In Liberia, COTAE trained twenty-five Liberian journalists selected from different media institutions across the country at a local hotel to discuss the important role the media has to play in making national government complies with the Abidjan principles which compels governments to provide quality education for its citizenry as a fundamental human right guaranteed under Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Speaking at the daylong training, the National Coordinator for COTAE, Mr. Anderson Miamen empathized that the right to education is a transformative and modifier issues that must be respected and protected by the Liberian Government in line with local laws and international treaties and protocols it has signed.

The training also brought together CSO actors in the area of human rights, the Ministry of Education among others.

Speaking at the training as one of the facilitators, Deputy Education Minister for Research and Planning, Alton V. Kesselly disclosed that about 13% of teachers deployed within the country’s school system are below high school qualification, while the country still struggles with limited access to early childhood education.

At the same time, ActionAid Country Director in Liberia, Madam Laskmi Moore stressed that privatization of education is not the way out of this situation.

She said “The government must provide quality and free education for its people because by law, it is under obligation to do so and it is the fundamental right of the people to demand these rights at all times.”

Human Rights Activist and Coordinator of the Civil Society Human Rights Platform, Adama Dempster stressed the need for the implementation of international protocols as one of the main challenges facing the sector.

Dempster said “Liberia has signed over 100 international protocols and treaties governing these rights. However, we see that implementation is the problem.”

He wants the media greatly involved to report on these issues so that the government does not continuously violates right of the people.

Beneficiaries of the training commended COTAE for providing what they called ‘insightful’ training and vowed to amplify the call by the right organization for the education of all Liberians

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