Zanzibar joins the ‘zero out-of-school’- initiative

23 August 2021
two people signing a protocol
UNICEF Tanzania/Twalipo

Zanzibar, Tanzania, 23 August 2021 – Today, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar signed the ‘zero out-of-school initiative’ framework, committing to no school-aged children being deprived of their fundamental right to education. The Zero initiative is instituted by Educate A Child (EAC), a global programme of the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) aiming at reducing the number of out-of-school children globally. 

In June 2021, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar together with EAC and UNICEF launched the ‘Education for out-of-school children in Zanzibar’ project, aiming at identifying and enrolling children. The signing of the Zero Initiative agreement underpins the important commitment made by the Government of Zanzibar. 

“By signing the Zero Framework we are recommitting to ensuring all our girls and boys have the opportunity to learn through quality primary education,” said The Minister for Education and Vocational Training in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Hon. Simai Mohammed Said. “We will use this opportunity to take a new look at our strategies to develop a stronger and diversified education system, leaving no one behind, as well as make learning joyful.” 

While the Government has made progress in ensuring all children have access to learning, 35,732 children remain out- of- school. Although the first step is a focus on enrolment, the UNICEF and EAC partnership also concentrates on ensuring that every child graduate with the necessary skills. Therefore, improved primary school teacher competencies and motivation, and improved access to digital learning are also part of the programme to accelerate learning and prepare today’s children with 21st century skills. 

“It is a privilege to be here with a government that is committed to identifying and educating each and every one of its children.  The Government of Zanzibar is committed to having an education system that is flexible enough to meet the learning needs of different children so that no child will be left behind.  We congratulate the government and its Ministry for this pledge and look forward to seeing the promise realised.” said Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director of Educate A Child. 

In the coming days, EAC representatives together with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and UNICEF will be conducting several field visits in Zanzibar to assess the achievements made since the project was launched. So far, a total of 4,809 Out of School Children (OOSC) equivalent to 67.3 per cent of the target for the first year, have been identified and re-enrolment in schools across all eleven districts of Zanzibar has started. 

“UNICEF believes that every child has the right to a quality education regardless of who they are, where they live or how much money their family has,” said the UNICEF Tanzania Representative Shalini Bahuguna. “I would like to congratulate the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar with today’s recommitment to education and a better future for our children.” 

About Educate A Child: 

Educate a Child (EAC), a global programme of the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, aims to trigger significant breakthroughs and a material difference in the lives of children who have no access to primary education. EAC has been helping millions of the hardest-to-reach out of school children (OOSC) around the world, realizing  their right to a quality education.   

Through partnership and innovation, millions of children continue to be supported to overcome the barriers blocking their path to quality education. Playing a catalytic role in the field of OOSC and for those most at risk of dropping out of primary education, EAC strives to achieve individual and social outcomes for these children, their communities and a more sustainable world for us all. 

Media contacts

Manisha Mishra
Chief of Communication, Partnerships and Advocacy
UNICEF Tanzania
Tel: +255 787 600 079
Helene Sandbu Ryeng
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Tanzania
Tel: +255 768 599 205


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