Education: Inspiring examples
Children in West & Central Africa may still be far behind their peers in other regions in the world in terms of education opportunities and access rates, but recent successful initiatives aimed at offering quality education should have an inspiring impact in the region.
After having been denied access to education for 3 years, children in the northern part of Cote d`Ivoire could finally pass their exams and restart their education in 2006. This occurred after intense advocacy at the highest levels and through a massive joint effort by the UN agencies, government and non-governmental organizations. In Nigeria, through its advocacy work, UNICEF was able to attract a commitment of US$20 million by the UK government for girls’ education in 3 low enrolment states in the north, and a pledge of substantial funds by the Minister of Education to scale up girls’ education through the Presidential Initiative.
Through a close partnership strategy and the commitment of the President of the Republic of Liberia, the Ministry of Education, the Forum for African Women Educationists and UN agencies, Liberia launched the Girls’ Education National Policy to ensure equal opportunities for education in the country.
These examples demonstrate that slowly, children in West & Central Africa are finding their way to school, but efforts will need to be scaled up to meet the Millennium Development Goals and the right for every child to quality education.