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UNICEF Regional Education Team Travels to Iran on Out of School Children Initiative

6th July 2015, Tehran- A team of four education experts from UNICEF Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office travelled to Iran from 21st to 24th June 2015 to present to the Iranian government the joint UNICEF-UNESCO’s Out-Of-School Initiative (OOSCI) launched in MENA.

The MENA OOSCI team led by UNICEF Regional Education Advisor, Ms Dina Craissati, included three education economists, Mr Hafedh Zaafran from Tunisia, Mr Haogen Yao from China and Mr Jorge Ubaldo Colin Pescina from Mexico. This visit was part of a joint cooperation agreement between UNICEF Iran office and the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare to enhance targeted social protection for disadvantaged children.

In a two-day workshop hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare, the team of education experts presented the different dimensions and methodology of the OOSCI to an audience of officials representing different organizations including, the Ministry of Labour Cooperatives and Social Welfare, the State Welfare Organization, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice,  the Literacy Movement Organisation, and a number of civil society organizations providing services to at-risk children.

As part of the visit, UNICEF MENA education team also held several meetings on education indicators and data collection with a number of officials including Deputy Social Welfare for the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare, Dr Meidari, Director General of the Bureau for Social Harms of the Ministry of Labour, Cooperatives and Social Welfare, Dr Kardooni, Director General of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs (BAFIA) of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Mohammadifar, Vice Minister of Education for International Affairs, Mr. Babalou and Deputy Primary Education of the Ministry of Education, Mr Deymehvar.

MENA Out-of-School Children Initiative is part of the global Initiative on Out-Of-School Children launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in 2010. The goal of the Initiative is to support countries in achieving a breakthrough in reducing the number of out-of-school Children through:

ü  Improving statistical information and analysis on out-of-school children to understand not only how many children are out of school, but also who they are and where;

ü  Identifying and analysing the barriers that contribute to exclusion from education; and

ü  Analysing the existing and needed policies and strategies related to enhanced school participation.

In MENA, nine countries are participating in this Initiative: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen. Data from the UIS shows that in 2012, an estimated 7.2 million children in MENA region were out of school. The Initiative has recommended a renewed focus on early childhood development and pre-primary education as part of broader poverty reduction programmes in the region, enhanced cross-sectoral efforts to address multiple barriers to schooling, and more attention to school retention.

Participants from different organizations attended the presentation of UNICEF Regional Education Team on Out of School Children Initiative.

Ms Dina Craissati led the UNICEF Regional Education Team from MENA in this visit.



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