Early childhood development
The period of early childhood (up to age 8) is the time when children experience the most rapid brain development. Early environments, emotional experiences, and interactions with parents and primary caregivers are crucial determinants of the development of a child’s brain architecture; approximately 80% of brain development takes place during this period. Scientific evidence indicates that caring, supporting, and stimulating environments greatly increase children’s chances of a successful transition to school, as well as their chances of success in learning, employment, and health outcomes later in life.
In Ivory Coast, there is growing interest in early childhood development and in supporting children’s readiness for school by providing pre-primary education. This is evident in slow but steady increases in pre-primary enrollment, public investment, and government commitment. However, overall access to services, especially integrated services that leverage health, nutrition, education, and social protection initiatives, remains extremely low. Those services that are available in Ivory Coast are usually of poor quality and fail to prepare children for school, and effective coordination mechanisms are lacking.
TRECC helps to promote early childhood development in Ivory Coast by:
Supporting the efforts of the Ivorian government to define sound policies and identify strategic indicators to address the challenges and gaps in the field
Mobilizing resources and expertise to scale up early childhood development and parenting programs nationwide, using existing public, private, and NGO delivery platforms
Strengthening capabilities and contributing to evidence-based knowledge of early childhood development
Many countries, including Ivory Coast, have experienced a remarkable expansion of access to primary education since 2000. However, it is widely recognized that providing access to education will not, in itself, guarantee that all children will learn valuable skills through school attendance. Shifting attention to ensuring equitable access to free, high-quality education pushes governments to look beyond enrollment data and support high-quality interventions that will enable all children to learn.
Ivory Coast has made significant progress in expanding access to primary education, and ambitious new government policies show a strong commitment to ensuring that all children are able to enroll in and complete primary school. However, learning levels remain low. Further investments or additional efficiencies will be necessary to consolidate progress in achieving high-quality education. Challenges still abound, including reaching out-of-school and marginalized populations; eﬀectively recruiting, training, and/or retaining teachers; and improving teaching methods, curricula, quality, and learning outcomes.
TRECC contributes to the development of literacy and numeracy in Ivory Coast by:
Supporting the efforts of the Ivorian government to define and achieve SMART quality education targets
Piloting evidence-based numeracy and literacy interventions in cocoa communities with the objective of implementing them nationwide
Supporting market-based innovations using technology to enhance education
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
The most practical avenue for developing readily employable and income-generating skills, which will enable individuals around the globe to escape poverty, is through technical and vocational education and training. Life skills, combined with practical knowledge, are recognized as a key resource for enhancing the positive and productive development of young people.
The government of Ivory Coast is beginning to focus attention on the large numbers of out-of-school and working-age youth, aiming to fill the skills gap – the missing set of skills that are needed to overcome the mismatch between training and the labor market and allow young people to get a decent job. Despite some progress, and despite spending approximately 6.7% of the education budget on this area, the challenges far exceed what has so far been achieved. A lack of TVET opportunities, especially those adapted to the needs of the rural labor market, and the prominent role of private providers compound the challenges facing efforts to offer suitable and equitable training for those who need it.
TRECC supports the development of the technical and vocational training sector by:
Partnering with the cocoa and chocolate industry to develop high-quality TVET opportunities for rural youth, both within and beyond the supply chain
Supporting agricultural entrepreneurship, life skills, and literacy and numeracy programs for rural youth
Facilitating an exchange of best practices in the field of TVET between government and private-sector stakeholders in Ivory Coast as well as with practitioners from around the world