By Lamin B. Darboe
Mrs. Claudiana Cole, the Minister for Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), has signed a framework agreement with ‘Education Above All’ (EAA) foundation during the World International Summit for Education (WISE) in the Qatari capital Doha, on 9th December 2021.
The goal for the framework agreement between MoBSE and EAA, is to support the implementation of educational activities with the view to accelerate enrolment and retention of all remaining the ‘Out of School Children’ (OOSC) in the Gambia. This agreement will also ensure quality primary education and the campaign for Universal Primary Education status.
The agreement will enable MoBSE and other education stakeholders in the Gambia in designing an education project that will target the remaining 61,765 of OOSC. The project is expected to be rolled out soon in partnership with EAA and other education stakeholders.
The Gambia was among the first four nations in the world to join EAA’s global campaign against OOSC, initiated at WISE conference two years ago. EAA’s ‘Educate A Child’ (EAC) program works hand-in-hand with a selected number of countries to “go the last mile”, by identifying and enrolling the most invisible children (OOSC), who have been proven hard to reach.
While education is key to achieving the global SDGs set out by the United Nations, many countries are yet to reach universal primary education status. As it stands, more than 59 million primary aged children, are out of School worldwide.
The new ‘zero’ country level pledges were accompanied by zero ‘‘Out of School Children” being officially adopted by the UN into its decade of action, and follow EAC’s recent achievement of enrolling ten million primary-aged children in education around the world.
EAC has been in discussion with MoBSE on enhancing access to quality primary level education for out of School children in the country; thus the MoBSE team together with other education stakeholders in the country, have participated in several meetings with the EAC team to concretize the strategies towards having a viable project for OOSC initiative.
MoBSE in partnership with UNICEF and other partners in the country, are in the process of finalizing the project design to identify and enroll all OOSCs into quality primary level education, and to ensure that these children will remain in School till completion.
About ‘Education Above All’ foundation:
‘Education Above All’ (EAA) is a global foundation established in 2012 by Her Royal Highness, Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, with the aim of changing the world with one student at a time. The foundation believes that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, creating peaceful and just societies, unlocking the full potential of every child and youth, and creating the right conditions to achieve SDGs.
Through its multi-sectorial approach, unique financing models, focus on innovation as a tool for social good, and partnerships, EAA aims to bring hope and real opportunities to the lives of impoverished and marginalized boys and girls.
EAA comprises four programs:
a) Educate a Child (EAC);
b) Al Fakhoora;
c) Reach out to Asia (ROTA), and
d) Protect for Education in Insecurity and Conflict zones (PEIC).
In addition to providing equitable access to quality education for children worldwide, EAA advocates for the protection of education from all forms of attack.
About ‘Educate A Child’:
‘Educate A Child’ (EAC), a global program of the ‘Education Above All’ foundation launched in 2012, aims to trigger significant breakthroughs and a material difference in the lives of children who have no access to primary education. It has been helping millions of OOSCs all over the world, through partnership and innovation, to overcome the access and retention barriers blocking their path to education.
Playing a leadership role in the field of OOSC and quality primary education, EAC strives to achieve individual and social outcomes for these children and their communities, resulting in a more sustainable world for everyone.