Promoting systems-level change for out-of-school children and youth

A four year research project investigating the feasibility and process of embedding Accelerated Education Programmes (AEP) in five countries, drawing on the expertise of researchers and educational stakeholders in each.  

Prior to COVID-19, the most recent analysis from UNESCO-UIS signalled that globally there were approximately 258 million children and youth who are out-of-school (referred to as OOSCY). Sizeable proportions of these learners (approximately 60%) will either never enter into formal school or drop out early.

This is because as children and youth grow older, available pathways for them to access formal education are increasingly restricted by age limitations and the required time to complete a full course of basic education.  Yet, without alternative pathways back into education, they are likely to face ‘extreme education poverty’, typified by having completed less than two years of formal schooling, by the time they turn 18. 

In response to this education crisis, The Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) and Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS) at the University of Auckland, and Dubai Cares are proud to announce a 44-month research project, ACCESS: Accelerating Change for Children's (and Youths’) Education through Systems Strengthening.

Accelerated Education Programs (AEPs) provide learners with equivalent, certified competencies for basic education using effective teaching and learning
approaches that match their level of cognitive maturity.  

Led by Dr. Ritesh Shah, a group of 6 researchers in five countries (Nigeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, and Uganda) will lead on the ground research to identify the needs of out of school children and youth, and where and how programmes which provide accredited and accelerated pathways for them to re-engage with their learning might be appropriate. Based on this, and in a second stage of the project, the research team will work with education stakeholders in each country to identify how such programmes might become better embedded within national education systems.