The MEC, the Office of the First Lady and UNICEF launch a project in collaboration with the Education Above All Foundation to bring 30,000 children into the education system
ASUNCION, June 6th, 2022. The Ministry of Education and Science (MEC), the Office of the First Lady and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have launched a project in partnership with the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation to enable 30,000 Paraguayan children who are out of the education system to attend school. This is the latest project in a long-standing commitment by EAA and UNICEF to work together to ensure equitable access to quality education, with a focus on the hardest-to-reach primary school children.
The launch was attended by the First Lady, Silvana Abdo; the Minister of Education, Nicolás Zárate Rojas; the charge d'affaires of the Embassy of Qatar in Asunción, Saeed Hamad MJ Al Marri; the UNICEF representative in Paraguay, Rafael Obregón; and Jade McCulloch, Director of EAA’s Educate A Child Engagement Department, among other authorities.
“I ask the authorities of the MEC that we can honor this commitment and the trust placed in us in order to carry out this program effectively and competently. We all have to get involved, we are all part of this challenge”, added the wife of the President of the Republic, Mario Abdo.
The Minister of Education, Nicolás Zárate, stressed that "This is a very important project, at a key moment, at the right and opportune moment ".
"We are certain that we will be able to generate changes, but for that to happen we have to collaborate, work together," indicated the UNICEF’s representative in Paraguay, adding that the objective of this project is to ensure that boys and girls are part of the school system.
According to data from the Ministry of Education and Science, 47,048 children dropped out of basic school education in 2021, mainly due to poverty and poor perception of families regarding the importance of education, as well as the lack of investment in infrastructure and quality of education.
The project is aligned to the plans and strategies of the Ministry of Education and Science, such as the National Education Plan 2024 "Towards the centenary of the new Ramón Indalecio Cardozo school" (Plan 2024), Education Action Plan 2018-2023 and the design of the Paraguay Education Transformation Strategy 2030.
“We have been working to ensure that every out of school child gets a quality of primary education and we have found equally committed partners in the government of Paraguay, UNICEF, and First Lady Silvana Abdo. Only by working together can we ensure a better future for children in Paraguay, especially the most marginalised and vulnerable,” explained Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, Programme Director at Education Above All.
In this regard, UNICEF, through the Global Initiative for Out-of-School Children, launched globally in 2010 together with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), contributes to the policy guidelines of the Ministry of Education and Science so that innovative approaches are developed and implemented to better estimate the number of children and teenagers who are excluded from educational opportunities, identify them and develop solutions to bring them to school.
UNICEF promueve los derechos y el bienestar de todos los niños y niñas en todo lo que hacemos. Junto a nuestros aliados, trabajamos en 190 países y territorios para transformar este compromiso en acciones prácticas, centrando especialmente nuestros esfuerzos en llegar a los niños más vulnerables y excluidos, para el beneficio de todos los niños, en todas partes.
Para más información sobre UNICEF y su trabajo para la niñez, visite www.unicef.org/paraguay.