Formal Education For Out of School Children in Comoros

Several political and economic crises in Comoros since its independence in 1975 have contributed to instability and poor living conditions for the 745,000 inhabitants of its four islands. A result of the instability is a marked increase in the number of out of school children in recent years. EAC and UNICEF have partnered to address the issue of out of school children in Comoros through the Formal Education for Out of School Children in Comoros project.

The issue of out of school children at the primary school level in Comoros is a long lasting challenge hindering the performance of the education system.  Despite efforts made over the last decade their number have increased to approximately 25,000 in 2009-2010. Even though it has adverse effects on society little has been done to address the OOSC issue.

The Formal Education for Out of School Children in Comoros project provides a unique opportunity to face the challenge of out of school children and contribute to the realization of the right to primary education for children excluded from the education system. It will have a direct impact on increasing access to primary education for hard to reach children and marginalized groups, including girls who have been left out by previous programmes.

The project has three components:

  1. Extending access and improving retention,
  2. Stimulating demand for school enrolment, and
  3. Strengthening sector management and project management.

The project will reach approximately 80% of the 25,000 primary school age children who are out of school in the country.  It will provide 20,000 out of school children in marginalized communities with access to equitable, quality, formal education.

To increase access the project is building and/or rehabilitating 135 classrooms including water and sanitation facilities with separate male and female latrines and hand washing bays. In addition to increasing and improving physical infrastructure, the project will increase access by providing opportunities for over-aged children to learn through accelerated learning programs, and then integrate into the formal education system.

It is improving education quality in project schools through the increased pedagogical and teaching skills of newly recruited volunteer teachers. Community awareness building and mobilization to enrol out of school children will take place throughout the project.



EAC and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) are partnering in Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen to bring quality basic education to over 3.3 million children.




An archipelago nation consisting of four major islands, including Anjouan, Grande Comore, Moheli, and Mayotte (this island voted against independence in 1974 and is governed by France currently), the Union of Comoros is situated in the mouth of the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and Mozambique. Since independence, the country has grappled with regular intervals of political instability, as the country’s more than 20 coups and/or attempted coups often precipitate bouts of civil unrest and violent conflict. The demographic composition of Comoros is diverse, owing to the populations of the descendants of Arab traders, Malay immigrants and African peoples. Chief amongst the country’s exports are cloves, perfume essence and vanilla, and approximately 70 per cent of the population is employed in the agricultural sector.