Giving children a second chance
Everyone recognises the power of education to transform children’s lives. But what happens when millions of children don’t even get the chance to go to school because of poverty, conflict or discrimination? The Luminos Fund works at the margins of the education system to bring quality education to children in the greatest need. Their accelerated learning programme has already enabled over 100,000 children across Africa, who never attended school or dropped out, to get a second chance. We’re supporting them to enrol a further 10,000 children in remote regions of Ethiopia.
Of the sub-Saharan African nations, Ethiopia has the second highest number of children out of school, with over 2 million children unable to receive a quality education due to poverty, conflict or discrimination. And this is despite the fact that Ethiopia almost doubled the budget share allocated to education between 2000 and 2013 (from 15% to 27%).
The Luminos Fund focuses on out-of-school children aged 8-14 living in the remote Afar and Oromia regions of Ethiopia who have never attended school or who have dropped out.
The programme provides these children with an opportunity to reintegrate in government schools after 10 months of accelerated learning. It aims to improve individual learning by fostering learning that is not only faster, but also deeper and more effective.
Luminos’ “Second Chance” classes are smaller than average (25 pupils compared with 50), support nearly four times more reading hours than government schools, and adopt a play-based, child-centred pedagogy and learning system that teaches learners how to learn. They are supported by a parent engagement and self-help programme that gets parents involved in their children’s learning, and by activities that mobilise the community to contribute to positive learning outcomes.
An impact evaluation study highlighted that the ‘boost’ “Second Chance” students receive from their 10 months learning continues beyond this period and not only brings many of them up to the standard of their peers, but also gives them some advantage over the majority in terms of their persistence and commitment to learning.
At least 90% of the 10,000 students enrolled in the programme transition into a government school with consistently better performance than their peers.
Just as The Luminos Fund pioneers new approaches to bringing quality education to children in the greatest need, it also works with local governments to drive system-level change. Following several years of impact, they have been approached by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to partner in the development of a government-operated version of the Second Chance programme. Efforts are underway to set the scope of this next phase of engagement.