November 19, 2020
Speaker of the Community Parliament, Rt. Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis has noted that, the coronavirus pandemic has created the largest disruption in educational system in history as it has affected one-point-six billion learners in more than one hundred and ninety countries.

According to him the pandemic has also reduced learning opportunities for many and of the most vulnerable are children, youths and adults, especially rural dwellers, and those living with disabilities.

He further pointed out that closure of schools and other learning spaces have impacted approximately ninety-four percent of the world’s student population with up to ninety-nine of this percentage being in the lower-middle income countries.

Speaker Tunis made this remarks on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 when he opened a third delocalized joint Committee meeting in Lome, the capital of Togo, on the theme, “ECOWAS in the era of COVID-19 and beyond: Focusing on information and communication technology (ICT) to promote distance education and training in ECOWAS member states”.

And commended, leaderships and members of the joint Committee on Education, Science and Technology/Telecommunication and Information Technology/Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Infrastructure for availing themselves for such an important assignment.

“We at the ECOWAS Parliament believe that addressing access to information and communication technology to promote learning, is a matter of urgency. I sincerely believe that this gathering is also an indication of our quest to guide against new forms of socio-economic inequalities, especially in the education sector across our region”.

This delocalized Joint Committee meeting is to reflect on the possibility of guaranteeing a truly digital learning environment with unhindered access to the internet, and it would also lay the basics for Parliament’s identification of a relevant intervention mechanism in order to make an efficient contribution to the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol A / P3 / 1/03 on education and training, as well as make recommendations that are geared towards impacting the sector, he said.

The Speaker announced the passing away in the cause of last week of former President Toumani Toure of Mali who served from 2002 to March 2012 and former president Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana, who also served his country from 1993 to 2001.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/