Basic education and vocational skills development

African girls raising their hands.
The SDC considers basic education and vocational skills development to be interconnected and complementary. © UN Photo / Marco Dormino

A good education lays the foundation for the economic and social development not only of the individual but of society as a whole. Education helps to reduce poverty and social and economic disparities and stimulates economic growth. The SDC pursues the objective of quality education accessible to people of all ages by focusing on two priority sectors: basic education and vocational skills development.

Education in any society is fundamental to achieving sustainable development underpinned by peace and social cohesion. Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all is the fourth sustainable development goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Along with achieving decent work for all within the framework of sustained economic growth and eradicating poverty, this goal is central to the SDC's activities.

As a vehicle for raising public awareness, education can help improve hygiene practices, advocate​​ responsible agricultural production, and improve public knowledge about the effects of climate change.

In many developing and transition countries there is a real need to improve the education system. It is equally important to ensure access to education in fragile contexts, where social disparities tend to worsen.

In the area of education, the SDC works to improve the quality of both basic education and vocational skills development. The SDC sees both components as interconnected and complementary, not only from a linear educational perspective. Depending on particular needs and contexts, it can make good sense to teach basic education and vocational skills development modules simultaneously to provide young people with a set of marketable basic skills to maximise their chances for professional integration.

Strengthening educational opportunities in developing countries and countries in transition is a priority of Switzerland's international cooperation in the years ahead. 

Basic education

The SDC promotes quality basic education that is adapted to the needs of each population and accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, it works with several partner countries in reforming their education systems.

Vocational skills development

By working with the public authorities and the private sector, the SDC is able to develop training programmes tailored to the needs of the market. It thereby enables growing numbers of young people to find decent employment and to contribute to their country’s development.

Current projects

Object 61 – 72 of 78

Programme d’Appui au Développement Culturel (PADEC)

01.10.2017 - 31.03.2022

Ce programme vise à contribuer à la constitution d’un pool de professionnels de la culture afin d’induire un changement significatif dans la vision et la pratique culturelle, la promotion de la paix civile et la lutte contre la précarité des jeunes. Des emplois dans le métier de la culture et de l’art seront créés et des spectacles artistiques de meilleure qualité seront organisés, et impulseront des changements sociétaux.


UNited For Youth Employment in Cambodia

01.09.2017 - 29.02.2020

Youth in Cambodia, in particular new entrants to the labour market, face critical challenges in accessing decent and productive employment opportunities. They have limited access to relevant skills, quality education, entrepreneurship training, information about markets and labour rights. With SDC’s contribution, the UN joint programme will support young women and men to access to (self-) employment opportunities and decent jobs. 


Système de Qualification et d'Accès au Travail (SQUAT), Haïti

01.08.2017 - 31.07.2023

Le programme SQUAT vise à améliorer l’accès au marché de travail et l’augmentation des revenus de 10,000 artisans, maitres et apprentis des filières de la construction dans la région du Grand Sud d’Haïti. Pour y arriver, le programme envisage de renforcer l’offre de formation des professionnels, d’accompagner les organisations de professionnels, de les mettre en réseau et de créer des passerelles entre les formations formelles et informelles. Avec un système d’apprentissage dual reconnu et apprécié par les acteurs du secteur en Haïti, la Suisse est dans une position privilégiée pour accompagner ce processus


Programme Régional d’Education et formation des Populations Pastorales en zones transfrontalières (PREPP)

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2022

L’insécurité ainsi que les tensions entre éleveurs et agriculteurs se sont accrues en Afrique de l’Ouest. Une éducation de base de qualité et formation professionnelle adaptées sont des vecteurs de cohésion sociale et de perspectives économiques, constituant des remparts à la violence, surtout pour les jeunes. Le Programme Régional d’Education et formation des Populations Pastorales (PREPP) agit sur ces enjeux.  Il vise aussi à ce que les politiques nationales et sous régionales intègrent ces dimensions de paix et de durabilité.


Skateistan

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2027

Skateistan offers quality educational, sport and recreational opportunities for the empowerment of Afghan children and youth, particularly girls and marginalized groups, with an aim to increase their confidence, abilities and involvement in their communities as well as to strengthen their social networks. It runs across two purpose-built project sites in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.


Formación técnica profesional

01.05.2017 - 31.10.2023

Vocational skills development is key for improving production and expanding opportunities for employment and self-employment. The project aims to reduce poverty and inequality by enhancing access to the labour market. It seeks to strengthen vocational skills and certify competences with an emphasis on young people and adults, promote the quality of training centres, and the shared responsibility of public/private stakeholders. Strategies cover both the national and the local level.


Skills for Employment Tanzania – SET

Babati, Tanzania

01.03.2017 - 30.06.2022

SET seeks to enhance youth (self) employment by improving the Vocational Skills Development (VSD) system. It will support public and private stakeholders to expand access to quality training that matches the demand from both the economy and youth, in particular women, including young mothers. Key elements from the Swiss VSD model will be emphasized: the coordination between skills providers and private sector, practical training and innovation.


CERAH Core Contributions 2017-2020

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021

CERAH’s mission aims at enhancing the capacity of individual and institutional humanitarian actors to devise and bring relevant, adapted and timely responses to the plight of populations affected by armed conflict, disasters or social exclusion. To that end, it aims at strengthening the competencies of humanitarian professionals through internationally recognized education and training, at improving humanitarian responses through critical research of humanitarian concepts, policies and practices and to stimulate debate on selected humanitarian issues to further critical and innovative thinking. This project aims at furthering systematization and professionalization of humanitarian activities and actors, with the stated goal to make the humanitarian sector more coherent and accountable.


Better training to facilitate the integration of youngsters in rural areas into the labour market

Three young Nigerien men walking through a plantation.

01.01.2017 - 30.06.2022

The SDC is committed to improving the education and vocational training system in Niger. Over 1.5 million young people living in rural areas currently have no access to education or vocational training. Their future ability to enter the labour market depends on good-quality basic education and vocational training tailored to their needs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Niger

Dosso and Maradi

Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Education
Vocational training
Employment creation
Primary education

01.01.2017 - 30.06.2022


CHF  14’796’530



Educational facilities for the Internally Displaced and street children

10.12.2016 - 31.12.2019

The internally displaced youth living often as street children in the low-income neighbourhoods of the capital city Islamabad and are deprived from basic education and protection services. The Mashal school educates IDP children from all over the country with a majority from KP and FATA, offers them a protective space, advises / counsels them on cultural, social and legal issues and help them to register under the government system by that laying the basis for future livelihood possibilities.


Support to Village Councils in the West Bank with a focus on Area C

01.11.2016 - 31.12.2021

SDC will support local government units to improve the delivery of basic services in marginalized rural areas of the West Bank with a focus on Area C. This intervention is consistent with the State-building agenda which forms the basis for SDC development programme in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), the promotion of human rights/international humanitarian law and the alleviation of poverty. It is aligned to the Palestinian Authority’s policy framework for Area C. Its operating modalities are harmonized with like-minded donors in the local governance sector.


Ecuador, Technical Support in Earthquake Resistant Reconstruction

18.10.2016 - 31.12.2018

An earthquake of the magnitude of 7.8 (Richter scale) hit Northern Ecuador, on 16 April 2016. Damages were widespread, collapsing structures within hundreds of km’s from the epicenter. Following SDC/HA’s emergency and early recovery interventions, SHA will provide the Ecuadorian government with technical support in capacity building on earthquake resistant construction, capitalizing SDC’s experiences from Pakistan and Haiti.

Object 61 – 72 of 78