© Fondation Village d'enfants Pestalozzi
Le site web de la DDC pour les professionnels en charge de l’éducation
Trouvez plus d'information sur l'actualité, les programmes et les partenaires sur le site web du Réseau Education de la DDC.
Basic education and education systems – a cornerstone of development
A quality education is key to an independent existence and freedom of action. It reinforces a person's ability to make informed choices, adapt to an ever-changing environment and lead a life of
their own choosing. It is a prerequisite for active citizenship and an effective lever for exercising other fundamental human rights (freedom of expression, healthcare, food). Education is also a
lifelong learning process.
Education systems must address the fundamental learning needs of children, young people and adults. An education system must therefore be acceptable, accessible, adaptable and adequately funded.
|•||67 million children throughout the world do not attend school. Three quarters of them live in sub-Saharen Africa and in South and . Every year, 10 million children in sub-Saharan drop out of primary school.|
|•||Some 800 million people are unable to read or write.|
|•||Children of poor families in rural areas are least likely to attend school and most likely to drop out.|
Education is a universally recognised basic human right. The ability to exercise this right presupposes not only universal access to schooling or programmes for basic non-formal education or literacy, but also the completion of such schooling, i.e. access to knowledge, and the acquisition of practical know-how and skills.
If primary education is the most important form of basic education, it also covers pre-school education and different forms of education and training for adults and young people who have been unable to attend school or dropped out before completing their schooling. Basic education therefore targets all those with fundamental learning needs which remain unfulfilled.
Education for all (EFA) constitutes a key social goal. EFA is also a universal obligation for which a wide range of national and international bodies bear responsibility: governments, aid agencies, non-governmental organisations, civil society, communities, teachers and parents.
In September 2000 the United Nations Assembly adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDG); MDG 2 and 3 concern education, and in particular universal access to primary education and equal access to primary and secondary education for boys and girls.
While these two Millennium Development Goals accord with the Dakar EFA Framework (2000), they only partially cater to the six EFA goals. The fact is that the MDGs will not be achieved unless all the EFA goals are attained. Indeed, the EFA accords priority to the acquisition of essential knowledge and life skills to enable people to exercise freedom of choice and live life on their own terms. With this in mind, the EFA focuses on quality: a relevant approach for achieving the MDG.
The challenge of quality and equality
Access to basic education has improved greatly thanks to international mobilisation, especially since 2000. Spectacular progress has been made, especially as regards access to primary school. Nevertheless, average access-rate figures are misleading because progress varies widely both between countries and between different regions within a country. There are huge disparities: A large percentage of girls as well as poor children, mostly from rural areas and slums, ethnic minorities or countries at war or in a post-war situation, are still excluded from education. And many children who start school drop out before completing their primary education.
Moreover, broader access has often gone hand in hand with poorer quality. In some countries, only half the children finishing primary education have acquired essential learning tools. The obstacles to learning quality are many and varied: a shortage of trained teachers, exclusive use of "colonial" languages (French, English, Spanish etc.) which pupils do not understand, too few hours of actual teaching, content with no bearing on students' concerns or the local culture, inappropriate teaching methods, discrimination against girls, to name but a few.
The SDC's focus: Improving the relevance, quality and results of basic education
The SDC is working to ensure that people living in its partner countries, especially those suffering most from poverty in all its forms, have access to education and can thus enhance their quality of life and chances of making a living. This approach targets long-term improvement of education systems and gives priority to:
The SDC attaches particular importance to the inclusion of disadvantaged social groups – especially women, ethnic minorities and rural populations – in quality basic education. The SDC supports innovative teaching methods that boost the quality and relevance of basic education (for example, bilingual teaching, teacher training), and encourages the participation of parents and society at large in matters concerning schools and basic education schemes. The SDC also contributes to improving the governance of school systems, by means of decentralisation in the case of several countries.
Additional Information and DocumentsDocuments
- Un seul monde
Disponible seulement en Suisse
No. 2/2010 : Suissitude / Afrique du Sud / Des ponts suspendus
Download (PDF, 3672 KB) : [de] [fr] [it]
- La DDC et l'éducation: Description du Soutien à differents Pays et Institutions Partenaires
Download (PDF, 531 KB) : [fr]
- Basic education in Bhutan - Partnership results
Asia Brief - August 2009
Download (PDF, 208 KB) : [de] [en] [fr]
- SDC Guidelines for basic education and vocational skills development
Download (PDF, 4964 KB) : [en] [fr]
Articles and Press releases
- Adult education: Results of the Conference in Belém
- The Promotion of Learning and non-formal Education
- The power of literacy: A vision made real in Burkina Faso
- Roma Education Fund: Commitment to educational justice