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German development policy

High-quality education for all children and young people

A girl at school in Saint Sauveur refugee camp in Bangui, Central African Republic

There are about 57 million children worldwide – more than half of them girls – who do not attend primary school because they have to work or because their families cannot pay their school fees or because they have disabilities.

The right to access to high-quality education for girls and boys regardless of their origins or socio-economic status is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In order to ensure that all children have access to education, inclusive edu­ca­tion systems must be established in the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Investments must be made in early and pre-school education, in appropriate and universal school infra­struc­ture for primary and secondary schools and for further education, and in good initial and in-service training for teachers. Flexible teaching plans must be developed and support must also be provided for non-formal offerings so as to reach children and young people outside the official school system.

Inclusive education systems have a positive impact on numerous areas: they help in combating child labour, improving the nutrition and health of many children, and in empowering them to claim their rights to participate.

The BMZ's education strategy

The BMZ's new education strategy, which it presented in February 2012, sets out the ministry's plans to expand Germany's activities in the education sector and interlink individual measures more closely with one another. In addition to basic education, the holistic approach that Germany is following also includes secondary and tertiary education, plus vocational training and non-formal education. Germany is also sup­port­ing educational pro­grammes for school dropouts and for young people who are not being reached by formal education systems.

The aim of German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion in this sector is to improve not only access to edu­ca­tion but also the quality of that education. A wide range of activities are being supported:

  • Policy advice
  • Developing teaching and learning materials, and curricula
  • Initial and in-service training for teachers
  • Education for dis­ad­vant­aged groups
  • Empowering girls
  • Support for edu­ca­tion­al infra­structure
  • Media de­vel­op­ment

BMZ glossary

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