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

Object 1 – 12 of 79

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.


ILFF 4 Education - Impact Linked Financing for Education to accelerate inclusive quality education through private sector engagement

01.08.2021 - 31.12.2025

Many countries face challenges and a considerable funding gap to meet the SDG 4. Covid-19 has aggravated this situation. Impact linked finance is an innovative way to leverage private-sector engagement in the education sector for the inclusion and quality learning of vulnerable groups. In collaboration with foundations, the project will pilot impact linked financing in education in SDC priority regions in order to accelerate learning, inclusiveness and quality of basic education.


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.


Partenariat Mondial pour l’Education – Global Partnership for Education (PME – GPE)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

Le Partenariat Mondial pour l’Education (PME) est le plus grand fonds en faveur de l’éducation dans les pays à faibles revenus. Il vise à soutenir les gouvernements dans le renforcement de leurs systèmes éducatifs. L’objectif de l’éducation universelle dans les pays en développement subit un déficit financier qui selon des projections alarmantes pourrait s’accroître de 200 milliards/USD supplémentaires en raison de la crise du Covid-19. Les effets sur les perspectives des jeunes sont dévastateurs. La contribution de la Suisse reflète l’accent mis sur l’éducation dans son Message sur la stratégie de coopération internationale 21-24.  


UNICEF Core Contribution 2021

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2021

UNICEF is the leading UN agency to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet basic needs and to expand children’s opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Switzerland in 1997. Switzerland supports UNICEF to provide education and ensure the protection of every child, to strengthen its institutional effectiveness and implement the United Nations Development System Reform. 


UNFPA - Core Contribution 2021

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2021

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works to address questions related to population and development, with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, and youth. UNFPA is the only multilateral organization, which is engaged on a normative and operational level in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights SRHR as well as gender equality and women’s empowerment. It is therefore a key partner for Switzerland to ensure progress on these joint priorities.


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 - 30.06.2022

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.

Object 1 – 12 of 79