Quality Education for Every Child

UNICEF works to ensure all children are in school and getting a quality education

A girl in a schoolroom winking and smiling
UNICEFMK/2016/Dimishkovski

The challenge

Education doesn’t just start in Grade 1.  There is a global consensus that early childhood education for children aged 3 to 6 years is crucial for learning and brain development.  This does not mean academic learning – the development of “non-cognitive skill” such as intellectual curiosity, perseverance, social skills and emotional stability during childhood and the adolescent years are just as important for children’s success in lifelong learning, social integration, personal development and latter employability.

Yet, while the country has seen improvements in pre-school enrolment from 22% in 2012 to 35% in 2017, it is far behind the EU target rate of 95%. This means that two thirds of the country’s children are missing out on this opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Research shows that children who attended two to three years of quality preschool do better in school than those who missed out

Primary and secondary education are fundamental, yet the country is ranked among the worst in the region in performance of international assessments such as Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), because of gaps in the quality of learning and teaching.

Some children are being left behind simply because of where they live or because they are different from their peers  

While access to primary and secondary education is high, some children are still missing out on learning opportunities simply because of where they live, because of their ethnicity, gender, the wealth of their families and even because of their abilities. In fact, it’s estimated that less than a third of children with disabilities attend school.  

We believe that access to quality education from the youngest age is not a privilege, but a right for every child.

The solution

Universal coverage of quality pre-school and increased quality education available for all children are the key priorities for UNICEF. 

That is why we support major sectoral reforms and processes that will ensure quality education, such as legislation and policy development; teacher professional development, establishing quality assurance mechanisms, curricula development; character education; early childhood and inclusive education and innovation for learning. 

This is just some of the work we support for creating an environment in which all children in the country exercise their right to quality education!