Project

Strengthening Education System for Out of School Children

The Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and East Timor continue to face challenges in reaching and educating out of school children (OOSC). The EAC-UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education Strengthening Education Systems for Out of School Children project seeks to enrol and retain 50,000 out of school children in quality primary education programs in the sub-region.

The goal of the Strengthening Education System for Out of School Children project is to enhance institutional capacity of education systems to provide learning opportunities for OOSC in southeast Asia. Strategies are targeted towards creating a supportive atmosphere for the schooling of OOSC through a sustainable system and consistent program delivery. During the project period, an estimated 50,000 OOSC will have opportunities to participate in flexible learning programs that are equivalent to formal education. Many of these children are children in poverty, children with disabilities, migrant children, stateless children, girls, children in remote areas, and children of ethnic minorities. Specific objectives include: conducting an in-depth review of current legislation, policies, systems, and programs for OOSC; forming a joint commitment from Asia-Pacific countries to address OOSC by working together to prepare and endorse the ASEAN Declaration ensuring learning opportunities for all children regardless of their nationality or citizenship; strengthening capacities of the government and NGOs through regional networking, seminars, workshops, and two regional summits; and improving and expanding flexible learning programs in the nine target countries. The knowledge and experience accumulated as a result of the project will be disseminated through portal sites, events, media, and publications.

The project has been designed to enable governments and partners to sustain and expand programs for OOSC. The project’s advocacy and capacity development, in particular, will help sustain the governments’ commitments to, and programs for, OOSC. The project will involve collaboration between the ASEAN Secretariat, governments of the 9 countries, NGOs, and private sector representatives.

Partners

UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has partnered with EAC to work toward achieving Millennium Development Goal 2, ensuring universal primary education. As a strategic partner UNESCO works with EAC to advance the agenda of out of school children at an international level. In partnership with EAC, UNESCO also implements projects in ten countries to ensure that out of school children complete a full course of primary education.

Countries

Cambodia

Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia has, over the last decade, enjoyed robust economic growth – GDP is estimated to have grown at approximately 8 percent between 2000 and 2010, and at least at 7 percent since 2011. As such, the government envisions Cambodia entering the realms of lower-middle income country status by 2030 and achieving developed country status by 2050.
Indonesia

Indonesia

With a population of around 250 million spread over seventeen thousand islands, across five thousand miles, Indonesia’s people are ethnically diverse as can be witnessed through their use of 300 different local languages. EAC partners with UNESCO in Indonesia to help out of school children overcome barriers to education.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

The Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), otherwise known as Laos has achieved consistently high levels of economic growth over the last decade; this is due to natural resource development. Poverty is declining in this country because of governmental reforms currently underway. The World Bank states that a significant challenge for Laos will be to ensure that the wealth coming from the cultivation of natural resources is transformed into investments in education, infrastructure, health and services, particularly for the most impoverished.
Malaysia

Malaysia

This upper-middle income country has witnessed successful economic growth where each year for 30 years, between 1967 and 1997, it managed 7% growth. According to the World Bank 50% of Malaysia’s population lived below the poverty line in the 1960’s compared to less than 2% today. EAC, in partnership with UNHCR and UNESCO are working to provide access to a full course of quality of primary education for out of school children in Malaysia.
Myanmar

Myanmar

Myanmar, the largest mainland country in Southeast Asia, is home to more than approximately 130 ethnic groups with distinct cultures and languages. The country has known periodic spells of armed conflict and inter-communal violence, particularly in border areas, which trigger flows of refugees and internal displacement. In addition, poverty is a formidable development challenge in Myanmar. According to the 2009-2010 Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey in Myanmar, 26 percent of the population lived below the national poverty line and poverty incidence was concentrated in Ayeyarwaddy, Chin, Rakhine, Shan and Tanintharyi.
Philippines

Philippines

Philippines is home to more than 98 million people who live across more than 7,000 islands in South East Asia, much of which is mountainous and prone to earthquakes and eruptions from any of its 20 active volcanoes - as well as being subjected to typhoons and storms. Forecasters say that the birth rate is so high in this country that its population could double within three decades (BBC). EAC has partnered with UNESCO to strengthen education systems for Out of School Children.
Thailand

Thailand

Thailand, the only country in South East Asia to have escaped colonial rule, today boasts an upper-middle income economy. The World Bank states that this country will likely succeed in meeting most of the millennium development goals on aggregate basis. Whilst the economy grew at a strong 8-9% per year in the 80’s and 90’s it slowed to around 5% between 2002 and 2007, and in 2014 economic growth is projected to be around 1.5%. EAC partners with Save the Children and UNESCO in order to increase enrollment for out of school children in both national and refugee communities in Thailand.
Timor Leste

Timor Leste

As one of the poorest nations in Asia, it is said that Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) will rely on outside Aid for many years to come. This country has a well-known recent history of how its independence came about; the people of this country were met with very high levels of atrocity and violence. Over the past decade and post-independence, however, Timor-Leste has begun to benefit from the foundations of successful development. EAC, in partnership with UNESCO, aims to support children in this country by providing a full course of quality primary education to out of school children.
Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam is emerging from decades of colonialism, war, and an impoverished command economy. Because of extreme poverty, children often must work before and after school to support their family, usually by peddling something, working in factories, and offering other goods and services. EAC and our partner UNESCO are aiming to provide support to Vietnamese children to overcome the barriers to education.