Education Above All (EAA) Foundation’s ‘Educate A Child’ program and the World Bank signed on June 8, 2021 a partnership agreement to enroll up to 35,000 out-of-school children in Djibouti. This first partnership will implement an innovative results-based funding model to provide support to the Government of Djibouti based on the number of out-of-school children enrolled.
Access to education at all levels continues to be one of Djibouti’s major challenges, with at least one in five school-age children never having attended school. Children are missing out on the ability to gain vital skills and learning opportunities presented by access to quality, equitable, and safe primary education.
The US$3.8 million commitment from EAA, with support from the Qatar Fund for Development, is part of the “Expanding Opportunities for Learning Project”, which also includes a larger allocation of US$15 million from the World Bank and US$9.25 million from the Global Partnership for Education. The project supports Djibouti’s efforts to expand access to quality education for vulnerable children, including girls, refugees, those with special needs, and learners from rural communities; and improve learning and teaching practices. Along with increasing equitable access and improving school retention, the project aims to transform the education system by empowering schools and establishing quality standards and a system for regularly measuring learning to improve performance.
“We are delighted to be launching this first country partnership between Education Above All and the World Bank, to support the efforts of the government of Djibouti” said Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education at the World Bank. “We have agreed to continue working together supporting other countries to address the disadvantage faced by out-of-school children. It was urgent before the pandemic, but now the magnitude of the challenge is larger than ever. Together, we will ensure that all children have the opportunity to fulfill their right to a quality education and build their own future .” The partnership in Djibouti is the first to be rolled out as part of a broader framework agreement between EAA and the World Bank, who, in 2019, jointly pledged to enable access to quality primary education for two million out-of-school children from more than 40 countries by 2025, with an overall commitment of up to $250 million in funding.
“This new partnership helps ensure universal enrolment for all school-aged children in Djibouti with quality and inclusive education over the next five years,” said Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud, Djibouti’s Minister of Education and Vocational Training. “It plays an important role in improving Djibouti’s human capital human and unlocking the potential of youth as a driver of growth.”
To achieve its objective, the project will strengthen institutional capacity to develop sub-regional plans around primary education enrolment and retention, implement gender-sensitive interventions to encourage girls’ enrolment and their transition to secondary education, provide teacher training to improve remedial instruction, and support the enrolment of refugee children through the provision of teaching and learning materials, in required languages. Underpinning this work, comprehensive communication campaigns will be implemented to strengthen inclusion and support enrolment of the targeted vulnerable groups in the country.
Fahad Al Sulaiti, CEO of the Education Above All Foundation, said: “Today marks an important milestone in the collaboration between EAA and the World Bank with the support from Qatar Fund for Development to ensure education for millions more out-of-school children around the world. Aiming to eradicate the many pre-existing barriers to education compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, this project will have a profound impact on the opportunities marginalized children in Djibouti have, to learn and develop, to secure a better future for themselves, and their families.”
Following the rollout of the education project in Djibouti, EAA’s partnership with the World Bank will continue to working in education advocacy, and poverty reduction in developing countries across three continents. Possible target countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia.