What instigated this idea?
CAFOR has stemmed from the idea that education for development systems work best in contexts of well-developed partnerships and trust between the multiple actors involved. In addition to the significant classroom partnership between teacher and learners, CAFOR recognizes that education systems are based on partnerships and trust between school authorities. Also, teachers, community and the education ministry, as well as between departments of education and their financing partners, mainly their ministries of finance, but also external financing partners; and between practitioners and more up-stream professionals such as researchers. There are many issues that CAFOR will be thinking about as it evolves. These include better research, sharing information, mobilizing supporters, informing the public, advocate on all youth issues for the economic and social development of the African continent, raise funds, coordinate with stronger forces, and gain leadership.
These actions imply the involvement of a host of actors and participants: young African students, teachers, parents, community members, taxpayers, educational professionals, decision-makers, administrators who implement programmes, employers and the labour market, legislators who vote budgets and laws, and media people who provide (and transmit) information. They are all essential links in the chain that holds the education system together and enables it to move forward. And this is where compelling communication takes on its full meaning: it is needed to keep all these actors and participants involved, informed and concerned, thus creating ownership, understanding and results. Education systems work well when there is a good dose of social capital between all these actors; and when the requirement for this is a multi-directional flow of reliable information.