The importance of preschool for children's academic success has been widely demonstrated around the world. Pre-school prepares children for elementary school in a progressive and playful way, through socialization and early learning. The early years are crucial for a child's acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy skills. Once these skills have been mastered, the child is able to acquire further knowledge. Many countries, notably Côte d'Ivoire, have experienced a remarkable expansion of access to primary education since the early 2000s. However, these countries are struggling to ensure that once children are enrolled in school, they actually learn. Moreover, access to pre-school remains extremely limited in many countries, and most parents have little understanding of the importance of pre-school for a child's further education.
In Côte d'Ivoire, the results of the PASEC 2014 assessment showed that pupils completing primary school often have significant gaps in their knowledge of French and mathematics. Although 94.2% of children are enrolled in primary school, only 48% of primary school graduates have acquired the expected skills in reading, and only 26.9% are on track in mathematics. Moreover, the results showed significant performance gaps between urban and rural students, to the detriment of the latter. Learning outcomes in primary school are particularly affected by inadequate access to early childhood development services and preschools. In rural areas of Côte d'Ivoire, the estimated preschool enrollment rate is only 5 percent, relative to about 30 percent in urban areas.
The Education Sector Plan 2016-2025 showcases Côte d'Ivoire's strong commitment to tackling the enormous task of improving the quality of education, while also ensuring universal access to basic education.
TRECC and its partners support the government in its efforts to ensure that all children are prepared for school and that they have acquired literacy skills by the time they have finished primary school. To that end, we offer our expertise, fund pilot projects and support efforts to scale up successful initiatives.