INTERVENTIONS AND POLICY CHANGES

The Out-of-School Children Initiative identifies and counts the ‘invisible’ children who are not in school. The data is analysed using the Five Dimensions of Exclusion, a model that allows researchers to establish richly detailed profiles of the children who are not in school and the barriers that keep them away.

As the initiative heads into its second phase, emphasis will be placed on using this information to work with local and national authorities and other partners to recommend targeted strategies for change.

So far, some of the initiative’s recommendations have led to changes in policies on tuition, compulsory education, curriculum reform and resource allocation. Some policy recommendations have led to concrete interventions that have already had an impact

The Out-of-School Children Initiative has established the relationship between barriers, interventions and results.

Barriers
Interventions
Results
Poverty and Child LabourBecause strong links exist between child labour, poverty and school exclusion, interventions include:
  • Abolition of school fees
  • Cash transfer programmes
  • School feeding programmes
  • Second-chance and non-formal learning opportunities
In Bangladesh’s six largest cities, the Basic Education for Hard-to-Reach Urban Working Children project provides non-formal basic education on life skills for working children who never attended or dropped out of school.
Conflict
  • Focus on access to education for displaced, refugee and returnee children
  • Temporary learning space construction and rehabilitation of schools
  • Back-to-school campaigns
  • Education and recreation kits
  • Support for early-childhood development programmes
  • Non-formal education and accelerated learning programs
  • Coordination of diverse education providers during emergencies
  • National action plans for rebuilding after emergencies
  • Nearby schools
  • Girl-friendly schools
  • Zero-tolerance for violence in schools
  • Gender-sensitive curricula
  • Second-chance and non-formal education programmes
  • Support for pregnant girls and school-aged mothers
  • Social and policy changes about child marriage and genital mutilation and cutting
  • Policies that restrict child labour so boys stay in school
The Back on Track Programme in conflict-affected countries restored access to school for 6 million children in 40 countries and territories by the end of 2010.
Experience in Iraq and Sudan shows that non-formal education programmes play a key role during protracted crises where large numbers of children have missed years of schooling. In Iraq, UNICEF reaches more
than 60,000 students a year with non-formal educational opportunities.
Gender discrimination
  • Nearby schools
  • Girl-friendly schools
  • Zero-tolerance for violence in schools
  • Gender-sensitive curricula
  • Second-chance and non-formal education programmes
  • Support for pregnant girls and school-aged mothers
  • Social and policy changes about child marriage and genital mutilation and cutting
  • Policies that restrict child labour so boys stay in school
In underserved parts of Burkina Faso, well-resourced and gender-friendly schools (BRIGHT schools) built in poor and previously underserved rural areas boosted the enrolment of children aged 5–12 by 20%, with girls benefiting disproportionately. Interventions at the schools included separate latrines for boys and girls, canteens and take-home food, advocacy attempts to change traditions, literacy training and capacity building among local partners.
Disability
  • Social reforms that promote inclusive education for children with disabilities at all levels, including early childhood education
  • Review of national policies in relevant sectors such as health
  • Social reforms that build positive attitudes about people with disabilities
  • Improve data collection on children with disabilities so they are no longer ‘invisible’
A campaign in Montenegro called It’s About Ability was launched by the government in partnership with UNICEF and reduced the percentage of people who found it unacceptable for a child with a disability to attend the same class as their own child from 64% in 2010 to 39% in 2012.
Language challenges
  • Provide mother tongue-based multilingual education, especially in the early years
  • Train multilingual teachers
  • Use non-formal educational approaches

The School for Life alternative education programme in Ghana, particularly attractive for out-of-school children, helped over 120,000 children; 82% of them transitioned to formal education.