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UNICEF rolls out Child-to-Child Survey to get all children in school

With 121 Million Out of School, Schoolmates Start to Ask Questions

© UNICEF/HQ04-377/Fiorente
Girls at the Tibebe Mengeda Elementary School in Addis Ababa, the capital, complete forms about friends or other children they know who do not attend school.

ADDIS ABABA, 15 June 2004 – In honour of the Day of the African Child, UNICEF officially launched a child-powered, global project to account for children not in school in order to accelerate the enrolment of all girls as well as all boys.

For the project, called the Child-to-Child Survey, teams of school children interview out-of-school children to find out the particular reasons why they are not enrolled.  An estimated 121 million children are out of school worldwide.  The majority of these children are girls.

As children report the results of their findings, they will call on their communities and governments to take action and place education at the top of their agendas. The effort is one part of UNICEF's multi-partner strategy to reach the goal of Education For All.

“We want this project to start a chain reaction, whereby the children and their teachers will not only identify those out of school but will also commit to getting them enrolled and helping them succeed,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. “The chain reaction will go on to involve communities, parents, government ministries and external partners in local and national drives to achieve education for all.”

The Day of the African Child this year focuses on the theme of ‘The Family.’ Achieving educational parity for girls will have far-reaching, positive effects, including ensuring that families will be healthier and stronger, not only for today, but also for future generations.  Bellamy said the world must remember the importance of educating every child.

 "Educated mothers and fathers are the foundation of healthy, strong families and societies," said Bellamy.   "With more than 24 million children out of school in Africa, we must consider this a critical situation and act with the urgency that it merits."

Discussing preliminary survey results, children in the Ethiopian capital said that school costs, children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and poverty are all part of the problem.

Ethiopia is one of 25 countries participating in UNICEF’s girls’ education campaign:  ’25 by 2005’, which aims at making sure girls and boys have an equal opportunity to obtain a primary and secondary education in 25 countries by the year 2005.

In addition to children, the Child-to-Child Survey is mobilizing governments and other partners, such as the Global Movement for Children and its members, like the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Several other countries in Africa are launching their own Child-to-Child Surveys, including Kenya, Malawi, and Chad.  In the coming months, other countries, including Zambia and Sudan will roll out their own versions of the CTC.  Plans are underway to take the CTC global, starting later in the year with South Asia. 


For further information, please contact:

Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media NY, 212 326 7452

For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 158 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. 





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