The ECOWAS Commission through its Department of Human Development and Social Affairs (DHDSA) has launched a support programme for Education in countries with emergencies in the Region.
The programme is aimed at assisting Member States affected by conflict and humanitarian crises for school reintegration and continuation of education for pupils and students, particularly girls and other vulnerable groups.
The pilot phase of the programme, which was conducted in Burkina Faso from 2nd to 4th November 2022, will be conducted also in Mali, Niger and Nigeria under the ECOWAS Action Plan on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in the Region.
The main objective of the support, according to the DHDSA, is to ensure continuity of learning and training for displaced children, girls and other vulnerable groups in the communities to minimise school dropout and safeguard the progress and investment made in Education.
The programme featured technical consultations between the ECOWAS Delegation, led by its Resident Representative in Burkina Faso and staff from the Department of Human Development and Social Affairs, Directorate of Education, Science and Culture.
The Burkinabe Delegation was led by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other key staff from the Ministries of Basic Education, Higher Education, and Gender and Social Affairs.
The meeting was also to identify critical areas that needed support in education in displaced communities within the country.
Support areas identified at the end of the deliberations covered pupils and students at the Basic, Secondary and Tertiary levels, including Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), reintegrating them into schools and providing educational materials.
The targeted beneficiaries of the support programme were 700 youth and children in emergencies, which included out-of-school children, girls and other vulnerable groups in recovering and affected communities.
The ECOWAS Commission presented a grant of US$ 200,000 to the authorities to facilitate the programme.
The authorities expressed their appreciation for the support, particularly at this difficult moment of insecurity and high rate of school dropouts and assured that the grant will be judiciously used in the targeted areas of intervention identified for the support.