Education Above All (EAA) Foundation announced the launch of a new project, in partnership with Save the Children, to provide quality primary education to out-of-school children (OOSC) in Rwanda. 

A framework agreement was signed between EAA and the government of Rwanda in 2021 to ensure ‘zero’ out-of-school children in the country. EAA’s Educate A Child programme and Save the Children have partnered on a new project to target the hardest-to-reach out-of-school children.

EAA Foundation new project in Rwanda

The new agreement builds on the achievements made by the government of Rwanda and its partners in recent years. Due to their sustained efforts, the number of children needing to be enrolled in school is only approximately 177,000.

During the launch, Rwanda’s Minister of State for Education, Honorable Claudette Irere, reiterated the significance of education to all and demonstrated the government’s efforts towards the initiative. He said that one of their major priorities is access to quality education, leaving no child behind and ensuring their retention, transition and completion throughout the education system. The partnership complements their ongoing efforts to ensure that no child drops out of school.

He said they look forward to a successful collaboration.

Zero OOSC approach

Launched in 2019, EAA’s Zero OOSC approach aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 4 – quality and inclusive education for all. Aiming to inspire other nations, EAA works with a number of countries to ensure each and every child can access education. To date, Rwanda is the fourth country to sign up to the Zero OOSC approach.

In many countries, barriers such as poverty, discrimination, challenging geographies, conflict, and climate change prevent children from going to school. The Rwanda project design places particular emphasis on support for children with disabilities. These children represent just 0.6% of the children enrolled in primary school but account for 8.3% of the total population.

To help Rwandan children reach their potential, the newly launched joint project will engage and empower communities as advocates and supporters. Data will be collected and methods enhanced to find and identify children who are out of school, including in remote areas of the country.

According to EAA’s Educate A Child programme Executive Director Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, their partnership with Save the Children offers concrete opportunities to Rwanda’s children who have been left out of education.

We thank the government of Rwanda, whose commitment will ensure that every single out-of-school girl and boy is given a chance to learn and thrive.

Rwanda is one of the top-performing countries in sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to education. By enrolling all children and reaching ZERO in Rwanda, the programme is fostering equal opportunities, combating poverty, and nurturing future leaders.

Save the Children

As a partner in the Zero Out-of-School Children Project, Save the Children will build on its decades of experience delivering quality education by engaging families to improve access and learning for the hardest-to-reach children.

The Save the Children team in Rwanda, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, will identify and enrol out-of-school children, track their attendance, provide school hubs and safe spaces to learn and contribute to school feeding programmes for families who can’t afford it, provide school supplies, increase accessibility through technology, and help children catch up through remedial classes and emotional support.

Selected schools will also have resource rooms and disability-adapted materials for children with disabilities.

Save the Children and the Ministry of Education will collaborate with multi-disciplinary committees and train teachers and educators to meet quality education standards.

Save the Children President and CEO Janti Soeripto said that for more than 100 years, Save the Children has been committed to helping children access education to reach their full potential.

We are honoured to work together with the Education Above All Foundation and the Ministry of Education of Rwanda to ensure (that) all children, including those with disabilities, can go to school to learn and grow.

As the world’s leading child rights organisation, Save the Children makes it their responsibility to deliver programmes to children – including those with disabilities – and help maintain their dignity and secure their full, effective and equal participation.

The global crisis of out-of-school children demands immediate attention. With over 67 million children denied the right to primary education worldwide, the Zero OOSC initiative is taking action to help ensure that inclusion overtakes exclusion, securing a brighter future for all.

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