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$1.84m Plan To Educate Djibouti Children
DUBAI, February 25, 2008 – The government of Djibouti has taken solid steps during the past eight years to provide quality education to children across the country but the Government of Dubai's support, as part of Dubai Cares, would help the government further the cause, according to Djibouti Minister of Education Abdi Ibrahim Absieh.
Addressing the media in Dubai on Sunday, he pointed out that the government of Djibouti has doubled the amount it used to spend on education. The government allocates 24 per cent of the budget for educating the country's young citizens, from 12 per cent a few years ago.
It has brought significant changes. The rate of students getting enrolled has increased from 40 per cent in the year 2000 to 70 per cent in 2008. However, about 30 per cent students are still unable to attend schools. He expressed confidence that with the help of Dubai Cares, Djibouti would meet the Millennium goal by 2015.
He praised Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's vision of eradicating poverty by education and said that it mirrors the vision of the government of Djibouti.
Unicef representative in Djibouti Dr Aloys Kamuragiye said that the country has to go a long way. However, the parity index of girls and boys in primary schools boost the confidence, despite the fact that it has gone down in secondary schools.
"Lack of proper infrastructure and school environment are other major concerns, which can be achieved by the help of Dubai Cares," he added.
The primary education programmes to be rolled out in Djibouti would mark the first outcome of a Dubai Cares-Unicef partnership. The programmes will be funded by Dubai Cares and implemented by Unicef, and further the UN Millennium Development Goals 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.
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 programme is expected to increase net school enrolment in primary education to 75 per cent by the end of 2009, a two per cent 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.
Dubai Cares on Sunday announced the launch of the first project in its aim to educate one million children, with a $1.84 million plan in Djibouti that is expected to benefit up to 100,000 students in the long term.
With the attendance of the Djibouti Minister of Education and Unicef's (United Nations Children's Fund) Djibouti representative Dr Aloys Kamuragiye, Dubai Cares announced a detailed plan to increase access to education in the country and boost the school enrolment rate from 66 per cent to 75 per cent by the end of next year.
Dubai Cares, in conjunction with Unicef, aims to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2 and 3, which aim to achieve universal primary education and empower women through gender equality respectively.
Meanwhile, Djibouti Ambassador to the UAE, Idriss Chirwa, hailed the vision of and leadership of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for initiating such a bold step that would empower the youth of the Arab world.
“The fact that Dubai Cares started its initiative with Djibouti reflects the strong and fast growing ties between Dubai and the UAE in general and Dubai and Djibouti in particular,” he said, noting that the Dubai Cares initiative would help Djibouti to realize its goals of educating thousands of the country’s youth.
Sources: Gulf Today, Gulf News, Awdalnews.