By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: Educate A Child (EAC), a Qatari initiative to reach marginalised children, has enrolled more than two million Out Of School children in primary education programmes in 24 countries, a senior official said.
The initiative launched in 2012 has co-funded 44 projects in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America and aims to reach more countries and 10 million children by end of the 2015/2016 school year.
EAC is a global programme of the Education Above All, an initiative of H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, working to address the reasons that keep at least 57 million children worldwide from their right to quality primary education.
The programme supports successful initiatives on the ground, providing resources and support efforts around the globe that provide quality primary education. EAC also works with governments and non-governmental organisations as partners in countries to prioritise the importance of addressing the Out Of School children issue.
Qatar supports 35 percent of the cost of each project in every country and 45 percent of it is contributed by partners in the programme, said Marcio Barbosa, CEO of Education Above All, speaking at a press conference held yesterday at the Education City.
As a step to reach its goal, EAC will hold a high level meeting in Doha with education ministers and policy makers from 15 countries which have high number of Out Of School children.
The meeting will discuss sustainable measures to accelerate action to reduce the number of children worldwide who are missing their fundamental right to education. “This meeting is crucial, we have to pass through this to reach 10 million children,” said Barbosa.
The high level meeting will bring together education ministers and delegations from EAC priority countries including Algeria, Angola, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Yemen and Zanzibar.
The high-level ministerial meeting will see attendance from countries that are presently not working with EAC but need to address prevailing challenges to bring children into the primary education system and help them to implement ideas that have been successful with other EAC partner countries. A number of Qatari authorities and entities, some existing partners of EAC, will also attend the meeting.
Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, Managing Director, EAC, said: “This high-level meeting is an unique opportunity for highlighting innovative solutions available now that have been successful in reaching Out Of School children. It is our hope that through this meeting, EAC can help support, sustain and scale efforts in these countries as well as provide models and insights for those that are beginning their association with EAC.
“We want to inspire countries to take up the best ideas and implement them where needed, thereby ensuring that children everywhere have access to quality primary education,” she added.