Primary school enrolment in Ethiopia has increased greatly over the last 15 years, yet more than two million children remain out of school. An important reason are the limited opportunities for young children to participate in quality early childhood education programmes. With this project Re&Act is working with UNICEF to improve access to early childhood education programmes in four regions of Ethiopia: Tigray, Somali, Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP). 

A child to child learning session
A primary school class

The supported programmes, which are all recognized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, are the following four:

  • «O»-classes: a one year pre-primary class attached to formal primary schools
  • Kindergarten: A three year stand-alone early childhood education programme for children aged three to six years and primarily operated by communities, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations
  • Child to Child (CtC) and Accelerated School Readiness (ASR) initiatives. These two initiatives are non-formal community-based programmes and designed by UNICEF. They provide low-cost alternatives for supporting young children’s school readiness in communities where formal pre-primary education are either nonexistent or unavailable to most families.

Parental involvement is also a strong component across all interventions and will result in increased knowledge of parents on successful ways in which they can support their children’s early stimulation and development.

The project was started in 2017 and will run until 2021 with an overall goal of providing more than 98,000 children aged 5-7 years access to one of the early childhood education programmes.

By the end of 2017, more than 1,100 facilitators and more than 460 teachers have been enrolled in trainings, and over 7,000 children have accessed early learning through the CtC programme.

Founded in 1946 and mandated by the United Nations General Assembly and guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF advocates for the protection of children's rights, helps children across the world meet basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Working in 190 countries and territories to translate the commitment to the wellbeing of children into practical action, UNICEF focuses special efforts on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.