775 million children and youth in 35 conflict-affected countries are left behind in the global drive towards Education for All. The human, social and economic costs are staggering, not least since these young people are at risk for recruitment into gangs and insurgent militias, and for girls, early forced marriages and sexual trafficking.
The global initiative Education Cannot Wait is based on the recognition that assuring education for these children and youth requires a shift in approaches to provide a path back into education for those excluded as a consequence of crisis and conflict.
Within this global policy context, USAID commissioned ECCN to gather, build and consolidate evidence about the demand for and provision of alternative education in the DRC, with particular focus on North Kivu, an area afflicted by more than 20 years of protracted crisis and conflict.
ECCN announces the publication of the research report: Alternative Education in the DRC, along with a Policy Issues Brief: Accelerated Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth in the DRC.
Key findings of the DRC Alternative Education Research Include:
- Despite notable progress in recent years in increasing access to formal education throughout the DRC, an estimated 5 million young people remain out of school.
- Exclusion from formal schooling reinforces the social and economic marginalization of young people.
- Youth place a high value on education, which, despite persistent barriers, they view as critical for access to good jobs, improved thinking and communications skills, and management of daily activities.
- Alternative, accelerated education programs, if they are reformed and supported, can meet the needs of young people who have fallen out of the school system or who have never been to school.
Policy Recommendations Include:
- Increase visibility and stakeholder awareness of the positive potential of alternative education.
- Support approaches for accelerated education that respond to the needs of young people and embody good practice.
- Strengthen support of the existing national system, and ensure adequate financing for quality service provision.
- Increase coordination between providers, donors and the national system.