Moving Toward Free Primary Education – Policy Issues and Implementation Challenges -UNICEF report

In the INEE newsletter a new report was listed:

Moving Toward Free Primary Education – Policy Issues and Implementation Challenges (UNICEF)

This report, published within the framework of UNICEF’s Division of Policy and Planning Social and Economic Policy Working Papers, is the third study in the series of SFAI (School Fee Abolition Initiative) publications and is the result of a collaborative effort between UNICEF, the World Bank and the EFA Fast Track Initiative (FTI). Recognizing that school fee abolition is a bold and complex undertaking, it discusses how countries have addressed policy issues and implementation challenges. The study examines the experiences of 32 partner countries in the EFA FTI as of 2007, revealing a variety of strategies and impacts. It concludes by articulating questions for future consideration, including the sustainability of school fee abolition policies within the resource constrained environments resulting from the global economic crisis.

The report states that school fee abolition policies, and other strategies to support poor households in coping with education cost-barriers, are key to reaching out-of-school children and to sustain and accelerate progress towards MDG2. UNICEF plans to strengthen its engagement on the issue through an enhanced knowledge base, technical support to countries, South-South exchanges and intensified policy dialogue. A questionnaire will be sent out to countries in mid-January 2010 with a view to developing a global data-base on cost-barriers to education and of monitoring status, needs and programs more systematically as well as engaging in evidence-based advocacy.

For access to the full report, please click here.

To request a hard copy of the report, please contact the Education Section at

And a second UNICEF report

Providing education to conflict-affected children in the remote regions of Central African Republic (UNICEF)

In an article for UNICEF, Daniel Dickinson discusses the creation of new schools deep in the “bush” of the Central African Republic, amidst years of violence:

After years of conflict in the rural north of Central African Republic, dozens of simple ‘bush schools’ are helping many children displaced by the fighting to return to full-time education. For many, it is the only chance they have to study.

It may not look like much, the rickety wooden structure with a thatched roof and open sides, but for its 70 pupils, the Martin Luther school in in the dusty scrubland of Bocaranga – in the far north-west corner of the Central African Republic – offers the best possibility to move forward following years of conflict.

Many of the pupils attending these schools were forced to flee their homes due to the conflict between rebel groups and government forces, and are now living in informal settlements around towns like Bocaranga.

Ms. Poukou is one of around a hundred such trained parents – called ‘ma?tre parents’ – in the area, complimented by only seven fully qualified teachers that have been provided by the Government. The harsh living conditions, the remoteness of Bocaranga and the huge needs of the local population make it difficult to attract teachers here.

Set up by UNICEF and funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), these schools represent more than just a place for children to study.  According to Muriel Cornelis, the Head of the ECHO in Central African Republic, in emergency situations schools provide people with access to basic services like safe drinking water, healthcare and protection. “For many of the children attending bush schools this is a positive step towards a normal life,” says Cornelis.

For access to the full article, please click here.


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