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Statement from the President of the IBE Council

  • By Dr. Godswill Obioma
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  • 26/09/ 2016
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It has been an unprecedented privilege to serve as Council President for the IBE-UNESCO from 2014 to 2015. This has been a period of intense institutional transformation, as the IBE, a UNESCO Category I Institute, takes firm ground as a global Centre of Excellence (CoE) in curriculum and related matters. Council members, the IBE director, and the entire IBE staff have worked relentlessly, not only reinforcing the foundation for this transformation and related work, but also vigorously pursuing this vision. The task has been hugely demanding and challenging—and tremendously rewarding. I also wish to recognize the many Member States and the IBE partners all over the world that have contributed immensely to the process of rethinking the IBE’s identity, mandates and functions in light of the emerging agenda on global education that focuses more closely on the role of curriculum in the quality, equity and relevance of education and lifelong learning.

The IBE is energetically promoting curriculum as crucial in today’s complex and fast-changing world. So I see how vital the IBE’s support is for countries that are putting their national aspirations and goals into practice by pursuing more appropriate processes of curriculum reform. What underpins the IBE’s work across regions and countries is its broad understanding of curriculum: reflecting the development and social objectives pursued by countries and encompassing the why, what, when and how of education and learning.

The IBE faced many challenges in reviewing its governance structure and programmatic work, so it can function more effectively within its mandate as a global CoE. The IBE Council was reduced from 28 to 12 members, to make governance more efficient and effective. The IBE statutes were also revised to reflect its new mandate as a global CoE. The Council’s working languages were reduced to English and French, to reduce operational costs. However, Arabic Statement from the President of the IBE Council and other languages may still be used during Council sessions, if funds are available.

Regarding strategic and programmatic work, the new IBE director, Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope, has capably and decisively led us in accelerating the implementation of the CoE strategy through six program areas endorsed by the IBE Council in 2015. These are: (1) Innovation and Leadership in Curriculum and Learning; (2) Critical and Current Issues in Curriculum, Learning and Assessment (CLA); (3) Systems Strengthening of the Quality and Development-Relevance of Education and Learning; (4) Knowledge Creation and Management in CLA; (5) Leadership for Global Dialogue on CLA; and (6) Institutional and Organizational Development of the IBE. The IBE’s organizational structure and institutional arrangements were realigned, allowing for more coherence and strategic integration.

I am deeply impressed by this comprehensive and ongoing reform process. I believe that the IBE is in a better position than ever before to play a key role in implementing the global Education 2030 Agenda. The IBE can now strategically reposition curriculum as a key driver of equitable quality education and learning and as an essential enabler of the attainment of SDG4. Countries are increasingly demanding the IBE’s support in light of this new agenda.

As this annual magazine shows, the IBE offers an impressive portfolio of programs, services, and products to UNESCO Member States. Given its expertise and its passionate and dedicated work, I have good reason to be optimistic about the IBE’s future.