Earlier this week in Dakar, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of education of Senegal, launched the country’s new local education group (LEG) in front of a room full of education partners.
Senegal has had a local education group ever since it joined GPE in 2007, but the country decided to expand the LEG’s membership to include representatives from civil society, and to extend its mandate to reinforce its collaboration in planning, implementing and monitoring the country’s education strategy.
The LEG in Senegal has 93 members and is now fully inclusive, as recommended by GPE in all partner countries. It includes representatives from twelve ministries, parents’ groups, teachers’ unions, civil society organizations, local authorities and even parliamentarians, working alongside development partners like GPE, UNESCO, Canada, AFD, JICA, UNICEF (coordinating agency), USAID, the World Bank (grant agent), INGOs and many others.
Minister Thiam said that “all need to be involved”, because education is not an issue to be addressed solely by the government.
The group will meet twice a year to promote an inclusive dialogue on policies and strengthen existing mechanisms for collaboration, both at the national and at the local levels.
Minister Thiam identified three challenges for the LEG:
- Ensure that all stakeholders can participate and contribute meaningfully to the dialogue
- Organize and coordinate efficiently, including through the creation of sub-groups as needed
- Hold each other mutually accountable.
Ownership, inclusion, partnership and transparency are the best practices that will help Senegal build a stronger education system.