• 24 February 2008

Representatives of Dubai Cares initiative, the Government of Djibouti and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today revealed details of the primary education programmes to be rolled out in Djibouti, marking the first outcome of a Dubai Cares-UNICEF partnership announced earlier this week.

Addressing a press briefing in Dubai, the three partners announced the programmes will be funded by Dubai Cares and implemented by UNICEF, and further the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of providing universal access to primary education, promoting gender equality and ensuring the empowerment of women.

Beneficiaries of the programmes in Djibouti will include 30,000 children in five communities where schools will be built or rehabilitated.  An additional 10,000 children will gain from a better school environment, while over 60,000 children between 6-16 years will benefit from better quality education through the use of pedagogical innovations and life-skills education. More importantly, 1,700 teachers will be provided with training to deliver better education to children.

Today’s announcement reaffirms the commitment of Dubai Cares launched on 19 September, 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to educate one million children in developing countries around the world.

The press meet was led by His Excellency Abdi Ibrahim Absieh, Djibouti Minister of Education, Dr. Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative in Djibouti, and Omar Shehadeh, Advisor-External Affairs, Dubai Cares.

“The Dubai Cares initiative is a welcome one for the people of Djibouti and is expected to support the government in fulfilling its obligations to provide quality education to all Djiboutian children, especially the most disadvantaged living in rural areas and slum quarters of the capital city,” said His Excellency Abdi Ibrahim Absieh.  “Dubai’s contribution will allow the government to move from promises to children to concrete achievements in the basic education sector.”

The programmes will aid the construction and rehabilitation of primary schools in underprivileged areas, and ensure the provision of school equipment, solar power energy, safe water and sanitation, as well as hygiene and life skills education. The active participation of children in full-fledged academic activities and social activities including sports; pre-school education for children of 4-5 years old and alternative education for out of school young people; as well as improvement of quality education through the introduction of participatory teaching methods, training and supervision of teachers will also be facilitated by the programmes.

Dr. Kamuragiye said: “Djibouti’s development is contingent on its ability to deliver quality primary education to children. UNICEF’s partnership with Dubai Cares provides the African nation a golden opportunity to implement steps for achieving this objective while ensuring gender equality in primary and secondary schools.”

The UNICEF-Dubai Cares programme will effect an increase in net school enrolment in primary education from 66 per cent to 75 per cent by the end of 2009; a two percentage point fall in dropout rates in all regions; narrowing of the enrolment gap between girls and boys; a preschool education agenda within a national programme; and the development and adoption of a national strategy for non formal education.

Since its inception in 1946, UNICEF has pursued an aggressive agenda to further its mission of advocating the protection of children's rights, help meet their basic needs and provide wide opportunities to ensure the realization of their full potential as mandated by the UN General Assembly.

Dubai Cares campaign is Dubai’s contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals of providing primary education to every child by 2015. The initiative validates the emirate’s commitment to play an effective role in securing a better tomorrow for future generations.

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