Education is a basic human right, vital to personal and societal development and to well-being. All children, girls and boys equally, have the right to basic quality education. Today, millions of children around the world, particularly girls, are deprived of this right.
UNICEF action and impact
UNICEF advocates for the right to education for all children — girls and boys — with an emphasis on gender equality and eliminating disparities of all kinds. UNICEF works with a range of local, national and international partners to achieve the Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3.
In 2005, UNICEF mobilized all UN agencies to work together on a back-to-school campaign. In 2006 and 2007, together with the European Union, another campaign was organized. 62 schools were re-habilitated in 2006 and 35 in 2007. 308,800 educational kits and 450,000 school bags were distributed in 2006, with 50% to girls whose prospects for formal schooling are diminished because of gender discrimination. A distribution of 550,000 pupil kits, 10,000 teacher kits and 1,667 recreational kits was carried out in the 2007 back-to-school campaign targeted schools.
As part of the campaigns, the programme also coordinates social mobilization activities, encouraging national and community radio and television stations to broadcast messages highlighting every child’s right to access education. The 2005, 2006 and 2007 campaigns resulted in an important increase in school attendance all over the country.
UNICEF, leader of the Financial and Technical Partners for education, and the other agencies of the United Nations, supported by the European Union, have played an important role in organizing the logistics for the school exams in March 2006. Exams had not taken place in the Centre, North and West areas since 2003. The school exam session allowed 93,000 pupils to validate two school years and continue their education. Overall participation reached an average of 60% in all centres.
Former UNICEF Representative for Côte d'Ivoire Youssouf Omar speaks about education in conflict-affected areas of the country - November 2007
Story on Girl's Education in Côte d'Ivoire
Too often in silence : A report on school-based violence in West and Central Africa