ECW - Education Cannot Wait


The programme aims to improve access and continuation of education of crises affected children and youth from the onset of an emergency and during protracted crises. With its nexus approach, the ECW ensures the bridge between humanitarian and development objectives through flexible funding mechanisms from early response to longer-term resilience by supporting community-based education, innovative approaches to improve the quality of learning, and by creating safer learning environments.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Afghanistan
Education

Primary education
Secondary education
Education policy
01.05.2020 - 31.12.2022
CHF  11’600’000
Background The number of children enrolled in schools has increased by almost nine times since 2001, from 0.9 million (almost none of them girls) to 9.2 million with 39% of them being girls. Nevertheless, enrolment and attendance rates remain low. An estimated 3.7 million children remain out of school, of which 60% are girls. Many provinces have very low female student attendance, with ranges as low as 14%. Around half of the schools still lack physical buildings and a large number of schools with buildings lack essential infrastructure components, such as boundary walls, sanitation facilities, libraries, and laboratories. Natural disasters, early marriages, poverty, cultural sensitivities, effects of conflict, economic hardship and displacement often force parents to take their children out of school. Insecurity in both rural and urban areas particularly affects girl’s attendance. The National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) III of the Ministry of Education specifies that there is still much to do concerning gender equity, girl’s education and improving access, effectiveness and efficiency. In general, the Afghan context demands a close collaboration and join initiatives from development and humanitarian actors, in order to improve access and continuation of education.
Objectives Improved learning and well-being of children affected by the crisis in Afghanistan through access to quality, inclusive, gender-sensitive and sustainable education. 
Target groups The ECW programme in Afghanistan aims at reaching an estimated 500’000 students (in the age of 5-18 years, with 65% being girls and around 10% being children with disabilities) and 17’000 teachers (with 65% being female teachers) during the first phase. 
Medium-term outcomes

1.    Access to education for emergency-affected girls and boys is increased; 

2.    Conducive, child-friendly, inclusive teaching and learning environments are created for emergency-affected girls and boys;

3.    Continuity of education for emergency-affected girls and boys is increased;

4.    Quality of learning for emergency-affected girls and boys is improved; 

5.    Safe and protective learning environments for emergency-affected girls and boys, especially the most marginalised, are established and strengthened.

Results

Expected results:  

-    Newly-established and existing community-based pre-primary and primary learning centres are functional;

-    Awareness and skills of key stakeholders concerning gender, disability inclusion and negative socio-cultural practices (such as early or child marriage) are increased; 

-    Inclusive facilities and innovative approaches are provided for girls and boys, including for children with disabilities; 

-    Strategic planning to ensure the transition of students to higher grades is improved;

-    Teaching competencies of teaching staff, especially female teachers, are enhanced; 

-    Adolescent girls and boys, as well as female and male youth, are provided with Life Skills Education.


Results from previous phases:  

Baseline:

-    5’760 community-based pre-primary and primary learning spaces exist in the ECW Afghanistan targeted provinces;

-    180’000 children are attending community-based pre-primary and primary learning classes, of which 91’800 are girls;

-    90% of the existing community-based pre-primary and primary learning classes are equipped with a minimum teaching & learning materials;

-    5’830 female and male teachers are oriented on improving learning outcomes in an emergency context.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund


Other partners
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
Coordination with other projects and actors

-    Education Quality Reform for Afghanistan

-    Global Partnership for Education

-    Education in Emergency Working Group

-    Save the Children

-    War Child Canada

-    Norwegian Refugee Council

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    11’600’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’435’000