Child Care Matters: Education for Marginalised Young Children

What the situation is
In Madagascar, the educational system suffers from wide disparities in enrollment between primary and preschool education. 9 children in 10 attend primary school (already an insufficient ratio) while only 10% attend preschool. Given that child development is a period of vulnerability that molds a child’s relationship to the outside world and ability to learn, it is not surprising to observe that two thirds of all children enrolled in primary school in Madagascar drop out before completion. What compounds this ‘early childhood gap’ further is teachers’ lack of qualifications and scarce numbers, on top of the sheer state of destitution (material, financial, premises) which the area suffers from.

What we wanted to achieve
To improve access to quality education for young children at the preschool and primary school level.

What we achieved
This project reached an end in 2014 and met with great success. We improved the quality of education in preschools by training teachers in child care and child-centred pedagogy, and teaching them how to produce teaching and learning materials out of local materials. Simultaneously, we set up a tailored preschool curriculum, renovated classes and equipment, and convinced sometimes reticent parents of the role education plays in building free, successful lives. Target schools have become countrywide models for early childhood care and education: enrollment rates increased at both primary and preschool level, while we also observed a reduction in dropouts and improvements in child health.

The project was assessed in partnership with both the University of Geneva and the UBS Optimus Foundation, with an experimental research component that produced a novel impact measurement model as well as a model for easy replication of project mechanisms by the state across other areas of Madagascar.

Lieu du projet : Madagascar
Région : Afrique
Domaine : Early childhood
Durée : 2010 - 2013
Le projet concerne : 8'000 children from marginalised backgrounds
Chef de projet : RAKOTONANDRASANA Charles
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