Project

Towards a Universal Access for Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education

In developing countries, disability tends to be linked with poverty and hinders access to education. It is estimated that 90 per cent of children with disabilities (CwDs) are not schooled. According to UNICEF reporting being identified as disabled has a significant influence on the likelihood of education exclusion in West and Central Africa.

Towards a Universal Access for Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education

Handicap International (HI) will focus on the most marginalised children excluded from primary education. The ‘Towards a Universal Access for Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education’ initiative will employ a two-pronged approach to project interventions aiming to help OOSC overcome the obstacles to their schooling. The project will: 1) establish multi-sector care for targeted children via strengthened links between stakeholders associated with school (health, education, social, community and parents) and 2) create ‘bridge’ mechanisms that offer an education adapted to children’s specific needs and support the children’s inclusion in mainstream schools. Moreover, the project will build the capacities of key MOE staff to design inclusive education systems, make the current schooling models more inclusive and advocate to keep the issue of OOSC at the top of the regional agenda, especially in relation to CwDs.

The project’s sustainability strategy comprises working through demand and supply-side dynamics. In that sense, the HI initiative seeks to stimulate demand for countries to achieve EFA targets and build their capacity to implement the appropriate policy changes at institutional levels. Regarding demand, HI will mobilise parents, civil society organisations and parent associations to promote inclusion of all children. As for supply, HI will work with multiple stakeholders to identify the most cost-effective means to achieve inclusion and engage in dialogue with communities and education authorities to find durable solutions. Furthermore, the sustainability and continuity of project interventions will rest on undertaking measures that develop the skills and capacity of NGO and institutional partners to conduct and coordinate inclusive educational actions.

* EAC would like to thank AFD for their generous co-funding contribution to this project.

Partners

Handicap International

In partnership with EAC, Handicap International aims to reach more than 28,000 out of school children (OOSC) of primary age with disabilities across ten sub-Saharan African countries.

Countries

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Despite the country’s recent bouts of political unrest, Burkina Faso has made sizeable gains with regard to the pursuit of EFA. Between 2000 and 2012, the country more than doubled its score on EFA’s index for African countries. Notwithstanding this indicator of progress, Burkina Faso’s education sector is still fraught with challenges – the country’s index totals were approximately 25 points below the average scores registered by its African counterparts.
Mali

Mali

Situated in the heart of West Africa, Mali is a Sahelian country that shares borders with seven other African countries. Recent estimates indicate that if annual population growths continues unabated at 3.6 percent, Mali’s population under the age of 25 will double. As it happens, the country’s population is unevenly distributed throughout the national territory, as 77.5 percent of people live in disparate rural areas. Roughly 73 percent of people in rural areas and 63 percent of the population overall live in poverty. Compounding matters, an armed conflict and instability emanating from the North, have, since 2012, brought about a humanitarian crisis in the country and an influx of refugees into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Niger

Niger

Landlocked in West Africa, Niger is a Sahelian/Saharan country, sharing borders with seven other African countries. In comparison with some of its oil-rich neighbours, Niger is endowed with relatively scant natural resource wealth. Furthermore, the country is beset by an array of challenges related to desertification and the expansion of the Sahara, as well as cyclical droughts. In 2012, an armed conflict and instability from neighbouring Mali, precipitated a humanitarian crisis in and an influx of refugees into the country. As of 2014, Niger appeared at the 187th position in the United Nations Human Development Index. Demographic pressures (3.9 percent annual population growth) weigh on the country’s development prospects as well.
Senegal

Senegal

Located in West Africa, Senegal is a Sahelian/Saharan country, sharing borders with five other African nations and the Atlantic Ocean. Between 1988 and 2011, the country’s population nearly doubled and as of 2013 that figure stood at nearly 13.5 million. Approximately 50 per cent of Senegal’s people are under the age of 20 and 23 per cent of the people live in the country’s capital city, Dakar. Senegal’s youthful and rapid population growth exerts pressure on the education system in terms of enrolment, access to higher levels and the learning environments.