To address the issue of out of school children in the region, EAC is working with the Burkina Faso Education Ministry to host a regional strategy meeting in March 2014, bringing together the Education Ministries from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, as well as key partners.
The West Africa strategy meetings in Burkina Faso is an effort to develop a regional or coordinated country approach to reach tens of thousands of out of school children in these three countries. EAC believes the common obstacles children face in accessing primary school, many of which are common across the region; the presence of active regional initiatives to address out of school children; and the strong government commitment to address the issue of out of school children offers the opportunity to significantly reduce the number of out of school children in the region through coordinated, dedicated planning.
The strategy will be informed by ongoing ministry programs and priorities, effective programs currently reaching out of school children in the region, and global evidenced-based best practices.
It is hoped that the West Africa experience will drive advocacy and resource mobilization efforts in the region, inform the development of similar regional or multi-country approaches in other parts of the world, and ramp up global enrollment of out of school children in the run-up to the Millennium Development Goal 2 deadline of 2015.