Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
Partners: Enfants du Monde
In Niger, the educational system is marked by limited access, very low attendance and graduation rates, and above all, extremely low internal effectiveness, as 72% of students completing primary education are below the minimum French language level.
In 2013, Niger had more than 1,500,000 youth (ages 14-18) seeking employment without any professional qualification whatsoever, and there were more than 2,160,000 children aged 9 to 14 either not attending school or taken out of school, without any education alternatives.
During its initial phase, the youth alternative education programme (programme d’éducation alternative des jeunes) developed a quality alternative education system to allow young girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 14, who are either not attending school or who have been taken out of school, to acquire basic skills find employment and their place in society.
Through the youth alternative education programme, Swisscontact, in a consortium with the Swiss NGO Enfants du Monde, is building an alternative education programme adapted to the rural context in order to help children between the ages of 9 and 14 to acquire basic skills for their eventual transition to vocational education, indeed an active life.
Together with Enfants du Monde, Swisscontact has established alternative youth education centres (centres d’éducation alternative des jeunes, CCEAJ). These are integrated within primary schools and offer basic education of varying lengths from one to three years depending on the youth profile. As innovative educational entities, the CCEAJ offer bilingual education (local language + French) for three student profiles in a multi-level classroom.
The current second phase is considered a phase for strengthening/deepening the quality and availability of education, especially consolidating what has been achieved in terms of access and governance. The ultimate purpose is to transfer responsibilities over to local entities. By setting up 315 CCEAJ in the Dosso and Maradi regions, 25 of which are in nomadic communities and 15 that target communities of refugees, the project intends to develop high-quality basic education with a leveraged effect on the informal education system.