The New Times (Kigali)

15 November 2012

Rwanda to Benefit From Global Education Project

Rwanda has been selected among the regional countries that will benefit from Educate A Child (EAC), an initiative that focuses on bringing quality primary education to remote areas.

It is a global scheme that will deliver real progress towards the goal of bringing quality primary education to all the world's children and accelerate solutions to meet urgent challenges facing education.

The project was launched Wednesday at the fourth annual World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE) in Doha capital of Qatar.

"Educate A Child will reignite the world's commitment to the hardest-to-reach children, the forgotten children. Our mission is to turn attention back to the disadvantaged children of today, who could become confident adults tomorrow, able to fulfil their potential, if we just give them the opportunity," said Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, the wife to the Emir of the State of Qatar while opening the summit.

The global project builds on Sheikha Mozah's attributes as a UNESCO Special Envoy on Basic and Higher Education, a UN Millennium Development Goal Advocate and a Steering Committee member of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Education First initiative.

The three-day conference held under the theme "Collaborating for Change" has brought together more than 1,000 education experts, academicians, policy makers from diverse backgrounds from over 100 countries globally.

The participants will explore how collaboration in many forms and at many levels can become the driving force of efforts to inspire innovation in education and to design long-term strategies for its renewal.

"Right now, millions of children are being robbed of their fundamental right to quality education. Wherever we find children, we find hope, resilience and determination," Sheikha Moza said.

"If we provide access to quality education, we know that amazing things can happen - to individuals, to families and to communities. The benefits cannot be overstated," she emphasised.

Right across the world, because of disaster, because of poverty, children are being denied a chance to change their destinies. We can change this, and because we can, we must."

Educate A Child is already supporting 25 projects in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, usually on a matching funding basis.

The project is partnering with the world's most expert organisations to bring high quality learning to children affected by extreme poverty, conflict, natural disaster, prejudice, or any of the factors that can make them hard to reach by conventional means.

Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Uganda, are among the countries that will benefit from the initiative.

Rwandan children currently are offered free and compulsory nine years of basic education by the government.

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