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Educate a Child initiative brings access to quality education to more than 21,000 children in Chad

N’DJAMENA, 14 November 2012 – UNICEF Chad signed a project co-funding agreement with Qatar’s Educate A Child (EAC) initiative today which will improve access to school and better education for more than 21,000 children in Chad.The (EAC) initiative will accelerate access to quality primary education in Chad for at least 21,450 children over three years starting in 2013 as part of the Global Partnership for Education.

The agreement will trigger progress towards the universal goal of quality primary education. In Chad, the funding will be used over 3 years and will benefit children beginning their primary school education. Through the construction and provision of supplies and equipment for 390 additional classrooms during the three-year project, the EAC investment will also allow for continuous school attendance for some 214,500 children over a 10-year period.

The project will also help to bridge gaps in terms of access and quality in the education system in Chad, particularly in the regions of Guéra, Ouadai, Sila and Logone Occidental that show the lowest indicators in education. Water and sanitation facilities will also be provided and the importance of girls’ education is emphasized through the stimulation of education demand, the provision of education kits, support to parent teachers’ associations, as well as catering for school feeding to remove financial barriers and reduce school charges paid by parents. 

“The Chad Constitution states that primary education for all girls and boys is compulsory and free and we are working to ensure that the rights of all Chadian children to education is realized,” said Mr Etienne Faitchou, Minister of Primary and Civic Education in Chad. “The Educate a Child initiative will go a long way in delivering quality primary education benefiting children in some of the most disadvantaged regions of Chad.”  
“Enhancing and reinforcing education initiatives offers important opportunities to thousands of girls and boys who think they have no option but to join the work force, putting themselves at risk of continued vulnerability, exploitation and poverty,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Chad Representative. ”Girls’ education is also of primary importance because increasing girls’ education correlates with economic growth, increased agricultural yields and greater labour productivity. Educated mothers are more likely to ensure their babies are vaccinated and receive proper nutrition and their children are more likely to attend school.
Increasing access to primary education in disadvantaged regions of Chad and improving the quality of education as well as school retention for girls also plays a crucial role in reducing disparities. This in turn works towards achieving the objectives of the Education for All initiative and the Millennium Development Goals.

With 61 million children worldwide still missing out on their fundamental right to education, Educate A Child announced partnerships with UNICEF to create innovative learning solutions for the world’s hardest-to-reach children, typically those who are affected by extreme poverty, conflict, natural disaster and prejudice.

Note to editors
In Chad, only 5% of children aged 3 to 5 years attend kindergarten. Less than 3% of children in the first grade of primary school attended pre-school the previous year. Among school-age children (6 years old), only a third (33%) is enrolled in the first year. At least one in two school-age children attends school. Approximately one third of students enrolled in primary school pass. (MICS 2010). The literacy rate for young women is estimated at 22%.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, 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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About Educate A Child
Educate A Child is a new global initiative launched by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar. It aims to significantly reduce the number of children worldwide missing out on their fundamental right to education. Educate A Child is working with partner organisations to support innovative methods of bringing education to the hardest-to-reach children, especially those affected by poverty, conflict, natural disaster and prejudice. Educate A Child is an extension of Sheikha Moza’s mandate as UNESCO Special Envoy on Basic and Higher Education, as a United Nations Millennium Development Goal Advocate, and Steering Committee member of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Education First Initiative.

For more information, please contact:
Hector Calderon, Chief, Communication: (+235) 66 36 00 42
Josephine Ferreiro, Public Information Officer: (+235) 66 79 00 95
Cindy Cao, Public Information Officer: (+235) 63 97 07



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