The pedagogical materials developed by UNESCO on the basis of the General History of Africa (GHA) for use in African primary and secondary schools, were examined and validated by the International Scientific Committee for the Pedagogical Use of the GHA during a meeting held in Khartoum and Marawi (Sudan), from 4 to 10 May 2015, thanks to the generous support of the Government of Sudan and the Council of African Political Parties. Coordinators of the drafting teams and experts who participated in this peer-review exercise also participated in this important meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to finalise the common pedagogical contents (curriculum outlines, teacher’s guides and textbooks) developed for each of the three target groups, i.e. 10-12, 13-16 and 17-19 year olds, taking into account the comments and recommendations of the peer reviewers.
The meeting enabled the members of the Committee to validate, unanimously, the contents, after having discussed the fundamental orientations of the Pedagogical Use of the GHA project, which the experts in charge of the finalisation of the material should take into account, including inter alia:
- skills-based learning approach; the spiral approach;
- the structure, hierarchy and consistency of learning units;
- revision of inappropriate concepts;
- obligation to ensure sub-regional balance;
- the need to stick to the founding approach of the General History of Africa while its updating according to the latest changes and events occurred on the continent as well as the latest discoveries and advances in scientific research.
The Committee defined a work plan for the finalisation of the contents for their submission to the Ministers of Education as well as Heads of State and Government of the African Union. The Committee also issued the Declaration of Khartoum [BN1] in which its members launched a strong plea to African policy-makers in favour of the political validation of the project as well as the integration of the contents into national curricula.
The meeting is symbolically important as it was held in the same capital where the Charter for African Cultural renaissance [BN2] was adopted in 2006 by the Summit of the Heads of States and Governments of the African Union. It initiated a new chapter in the pedagogical use of the GHA by passing the responsibility to the political decision makers who were called upon to meet their commitment to integrate these materials into their formal education systems. UNESCO has undertaken to assist them in this new phase by preparing the appropriate strategy.