Basic education and vocational skills development

African girls raising their hands.
The SDC considers basic education and vocational skills development to be interconnected and complementary. © UN Photo / Marco Dormino

A good education lays the foundation for the economic and social development not only of the individual but of society as a whole. Education helps to reduce poverty and social and economic disparities and stimulates economic growth. The SDC pursues the objective of quality education accessible to people of all ages by focusing on two priority sectors: basic education and vocational skills development.

Education in any society is fundamental to achieving sustainable development underpinned by peace and social cohesion. Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all is the fourth sustainable development goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Along with achieving decent work for all within the framework of sustained economic growth and eradicating poverty, this goal is central to the SDC's activities.

As a vehicle for raising public awareness, education can help improve hygiene practices, advocate​​ responsible agricultural production, and improve public knowledge about the effects of climate change.

In many developing and transition countries there is a real need to improve the education system. It is equally important to ensure access to education in fragile contexts, where social disparities tend to worsen.

In the area of education, the SDC works to improve the quality of both basic education and vocational skills development. The SDC sees both components as interconnected and complementary, not only from a linear educational perspective. Depending on particular needs and contexts, it can make good sense to teach basic education and vocational skills development modules simultaneously to provide young people with a set of marketable basic skills to maximise their chances for professional integration.

Strengthening educational opportunities in developing countries and countries in transition is a priority of Switzerland's international cooperation in the years ahead. 

Basic education

The SDC promotes quality basic education that is adapted to the needs of each population and accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, it works with several partner countries in reforming their education systems.

Vocational skills development

By working with the public authorities and the private sector, the SDC is able to develop training programmes tailored to the needs of the market. It thereby enables growing numbers of young people to find decent employment and to contribute to their country’s development.

Current projects

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UN Joint Programme on Youth Employment

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2028

Cambodia is the most youthful country in South East Asia with more than 50% of the population below 25 years. The key challenge of Cambodia is to create decent and productive employment opportunities for new entrants to the labour market. With its contribution, SDC addresses the challenge by enabling young people to have access to skills and quality education and employment whilst promoting rightful and decent working conditions.


Financial contribution to the World Bank Trust Fund Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI)

01.05.2021 - 31.12.2025

Switzerland is supporting the newly created Trust Fund Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI). Through coordination and providing quality services, the GEI aims at strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems in developing countries for improved evidence-based policy making for better achieving national and global (SDGs) goals. Switzerland is committed to provide access to its partner countries and partner organizations to this initiative.


Skateistan

15.12.2020 - 31.12.2024

The Skateistan programme offers quality educational, sport and recreational opportunities to Afghan children and youth from low-income families, street working children, and children with disabilities. The programme facilitates the reintegration of out-of-school children into the formal public school system. Switzerland supports the Skateistan programme to contribute to create equitable, safe, and conducive learning opportunities especially for girls and marginalized children. 


Eritrea Vocational Skills Training

01.09.2020 - 30.09.2023

Building upon a successful pilot phase (2017-2019), Switzerland will continue to contribute to two well established NGO-ted initiatives on technical and vocational education and training in Eritrea. The initiatives aim at improving the quality of teaching in targeted vocational skills institutions and testing the possibility of engaging in entrepreneurial activities. Ultimately the goal is to contribute to giving better life perspectives and job-opportunities to young Eritreans in their home country.


Social Justice for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (SORAE)

15.07.2020 - 31.12.2022

 

In order to improve the social inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) in Kosovo, this project will develop their livelihoods through ensuring better access to educational opportunities, enhanced children rights and protection, upgraded housing conditions and more income generation prospects. These multi-sectorial interventions will be complemented with antigypsyism policy interventions that counter discrimination against RAE and foster equality in Kosovo.


Programme Régional d’Appui à la Qualité de l’Education en Afrique de l’Ouest (PRAQUE-AO)

01.07.2020 - 30.06.2024

Le renforcement des capacités des cadres en charge de l’Education contribue largement à l’amélioration de la qualité de l’éducation en Afrique de l’Ouest et reste un défi majeur dans la région. La Suisse soutient l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) et l’Institut de Formation en Alphabétisation et Education Non Formelle (IFAENF) de Niamey qui vont former 2460 cadres de l’Education en vue d’une meilleure prise en compte de méthodes et approches éducatives innovantes, en bénéficiant de l’expertise suisse dans le domaine.


Mali : UNICEF — Protection des enfants affectés par les conflits armés

01.03.2020 - 28.02.2023

Les violations graves des droits de l'enfant sont en forte augmentation au Mali. Le recrutement de

filles et de garçons par les groupes armés a doublé en 2019. En contribuant à ce projet de

l'UNICEF, la Suisse intensifie la surveillance et la prévention de ces violations, facilite le retrait de

400 enfants des groupes armés et soutient leur réintégration sociale et éducative durable. La

Suisse contribue ainsi à la cohésion sociale et fait concourir les efforts humanitaires, de

développement et de paix.


Global Dialogue on Digital Financing for Sustainable Development

01.02.2020 - 31.12.2021

Digital finance holds great potential to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, as well as risks. New global initiatives such as Libra are currently opening up fundamental governance questions in that field. This represents a unique window of opportunity for Switzerland, which has always pushed for inclusive intergovernmental processes, to ensure that these governance discussions are inclusive and address the challenges of sustainable development.


Programme d’appui à l’Education Non Formelle (PENF)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

Dans un contexte de crise multiforme ce programme offre des alternatives d’éducation et de formation professionnelle aux enfants et aux adultes sortie du système éducatif national. Avec la participation des acteurs locaux et des services techniques des régions de Mopti, Tombouctou et Sikasso, cette phase finale du programme permettra à 6’000 enfants de retourner à l’école et à 4’000 jeunes d’apprendre un métier. La Suisse contribue ainsi au développement et à la stabilité du pays en offrant des perspectives.


Fonds d’Appui au Développement des Communes (FADeC)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023

Le Fonds d’Appui au Développement des Communes (FADeC) est un mécanisme efficace de transfert de ressources financières aux collectivités locales du Bénin. La contribution de la DDC au fonds permet aux communes de réaliser sur l’ensemble du territoire national d’importants investissements dans les infrastructures et services de base au profit de la population. En phase 2, la DDC renforcera notamment son appui aux structures de gestion, pilotage et contrôle du fonds. 


Contribution to Education Cannot Wait Fund – earmarked to Africa/MENA

01.12.2019 - 31.12.2021

75 million children in emergency and protracted crisis situations are being deprived of their education and the chance to prepare for a productive adulthood. Yet, education remains the least funded sector during crises. Complementary to other initiatives and established in 2016, the global fund Education Cannot Wait is geared at putting quality education for conflict and natural disaster affected children at the center, advancing SDG 4 also in such contexts and bridging the gap between humanitarian and development. 


Master of Advanced Studies in Development Cooperation (MAS) - NADEL

01.12.2019 - 30.11.2023

Mit der Unterstützung des “Master of Advanced Studies“ des «NADEL- Center for Development and Cooperation» an der ETHZ leistet die DEZA einen Beitrag an die Ausbildung von Nachwuchskräften für die Entwicklungs-zusammenarbeit. Diese praktisch ausgerichtete akademische Aus- und Weiterbildung von Fachkräften hat zum Ziel, Wirksamkeit, Effizienz und Innovation der Schweizer Entwicklungszusammenarbeit dauerhaft zu sichern und zu steigern.

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