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Universal access to education

The numbers of children in school have risen dramatically in recent years. However further measures are needed to ensure access for those marginalised by poverty, gender or disability.

Most governments have policies of universal provision of education and globally access to education has greatly expanded over the last twenty years. Unfortunately this rate of expansion has often out-stripped the capacity of education systems to cope so that the quality of education has fallen for those in school, and there are still an estimated 60 million children who are not in formal schooling at all. These children are marginalised mostly because of poverty, gender or disability.

We have a dual focus on helping more children attend school, and on ensuring that when they do, they receive an education worth having.

To achieve this we use strategies and innovations specifically tailored to the local context and the marginalised group of children with whom we are dealing.

  • In Tanzania we have developed a school readiness programme using community volunteers which in its first three months created more than a 1000 school readiness centres that drew more than 10,000 children into school for the first time.
  • In Northern Nigeria we have worked with Islamic schools to include secular education as well as Qur’anic education into their curriculum, and at a stroke ensured that 100,000 girls now have access to a better education.
  • In China we helped develop community and peer-based support to help children with disabilities to get to school and once there to support them in their learning environment.
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