Saturday, February 21, 2009

Aid: No child left behind - USAID to launch education program vulnerable children in Senegal

A focus on vulnerable and street children, a new curriculum to promote good governance, an emphasis on developing stronger relationships with the private sector, and an initiative to promote wireless Internet access, are part of a new, five-year basic education program launched this week by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Senegal.

The $40 million program will be implemented in 10 of 14 regions in Senegal. Working closely with the Ministry of Education, USAID will:

* target more than 50,000 vulnerable children and street children, many of whom participate in the Koranic (Islamic) school system in Senegal and, in collaboration with local religious leaders and elected officials, ensure that they get increased educational support;

* develop a new curriculum that includes a focus on existing needs in the job market;

* promote issues of good governance with students and help implement them within the middle school curriculum;

* improve management and governance of the education system in Senegal through collaboration with Parent-Teacher Associations;

* increase WiFi access in more than 400 schools and provide training on new technologies that will support learning in the schools; and

* implement a national campaign to raise awareness of public-private partnerships in the education sector and encourage their formation.

"The success of this program will depend on all the actors -- political, technical and social," said Kevin J. Mullally, USAID's director in Senegal. "I am convinced that by working together with all those who are interested in improving middle school education in Senegal, at the end of five years' time we will have given these excluded children a new chance to learn, to grow and to succeed."

The project was conceived and financed by USAID, and is being implemented by the Academy for Educational Development, and its sub-grantees, RTI and Counterpart International.

For more information about USAID and its programs in Senegal, visit:

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

Source: U.S. Agency for International Development
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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