Basic education and vocational skills development

African girls raising their hands.
The SDC considers basic education and vocational skills development to be interconnected and complementary. © UN Photo / Marco Dormino

A good education lays the foundation for the economic and social development not only of the individual but of society as a whole. Education helps to reduce poverty and social and economic disparities and stimulates economic growth. The SDC pursues the objective of quality education accessible to people of all ages by focusing on two priority sectors: basic education and vocational skills development.

Education in any society is fundamental to achieving sustainable development underpinned by peace and social cohesion. Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all is the fourth sustainable development goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Along with achieving decent work for all within the framework of sustained economic growth and eradicating poverty, this goal is central to the SDC's activities.

As a vehicle for raising public awareness, education can help improve hygiene practices, advocate​​ responsible agricultural production, and improve public knowledge about the effects of climate change.

In many developing and transition countries there is a real need to improve the education system. It is equally important to ensure access to education in fragile contexts, where social disparities tend to worsen.

In the area of education, the SDC works to improve the quality of both basic education and vocational skills development. The SDC sees both components as interconnected and complementary, not only from a linear educational perspective. Depending on particular needs and contexts, it can make good sense to teach basic education and vocational skills development modules simultaneously to provide young people with a set of marketable basic skills to maximise their chances for professional integration.

Strengthening educational opportunities in developing countries and countries in transition is a priority of Switzerland's international cooperation in the years ahead. In accordance with the Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–2020, which has been adopted by Parliament, Switzerland will increase funding for basic education and vocational skills development by 50% compared with the 2013–16 period.

Basic education

The SDC promotes quality basic education that is adapted to the needs of each population and accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, it works with several partner countries in reforming their education systems.

Vocational skills development

By working with the public authorities and the private sector, the SDC is able to develop training programmes tailored to the needs of the market. It thereby enables growing numbers of young people to find decent employment and to contribute to their country’s development.

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 45

Lebanon: education and care in a neighbourhood shared by Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians

Inside a classroom where a woman teacher is sitting in front of a group of children showing them a book.

01.08.2016 - 31.12.2019

The inhabitants of Hay el Gharbé in southern Beirut live in a very precarious situation. Since 2012, a number of Syrian refugees have joined their neighbourhood. The SDC supports the Lebanese NGO Tahaddi, which has made a real difference in people’s lives here – such as with its education centre, helping a large number of children to (re)discover schooling and escape their daily hardships. 

Country/region Period Budget
Lebanon

01.08.2016 - 31.12.2019


CHF 774'000



Rehabilitation of schools in northern Lebanon

The rehabilitated schools are providing a better learning environment for Lebanese as well as Syrian pupils. © SDC

16.11.2015 - 30.04.2019

Following the rehabilitation of 28 schools in northern Lebanon in the first phases of the project, the SDC is expanding its engagement to 24 other schools in the same region. The rehabilitation works are being carried out in cooperation with the Lebanese authorities to help them cope with the large influx of refugee children from Syria.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Lebanon
Humanitarian Assistance
Education
Formal basic education (primary and lower secondary)
Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
HUMANITARIAN AID
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
Primary education
Education facilities and training
Reconstruction relief and rehabilitation
Multisector aid

16.11.2015 - 30.04.2019


CHF 3'690'000



Forging a common «Nile culture» through music and academic training

Nile Project musicians on a boat.

01.05.2015 - 31.10.2019

To make the Nile Basin a common ground and shared ecosystem for the inhabitants of the eleven countries through which the Nile River flows, the SDC supports the innovative musical and educational Nile Project. The project brings together artists, students and concerned citizens. A series of acclaimed concerts has taken place since 2013; at the same time, students are developing initiatives to foster a better use of water resources.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Egypt
Economy and Employment
Education
Migration
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Education
Environment
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Economy and Employment
Culture
Disaster Risk Reduction – Preparedness
Education policy
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Environment protection
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Vocational training and skills development
Access to information incl. support to media and ICT
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Culture
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
Protection and access
EDUCATION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
COMMUNICATIONS
INDUSTRY
HUMANITARIAN AID
EDUCATION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
BUSINESS & OTHER SERVICES
INDUSTRY
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
COMMUNICATIONS
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
HUMANITARIAN AID
Education policy and administrative management
Women's equality organisations and institutions
Culture and recreation
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Disaster prevention and preparedness
Vocational training
Business support services and institutions
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Environmental policy and administrative management
Human rights
Women's equality organisations and institutions
Culture and recreation
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Biosphere protection
Material relief assistance and services

01.05.2015 - 31.10.2019


CHF 750'000



Developing Skills for Better Employment

A student screwing a solar panel together.

15.12.2014 - 31.12.2018

Unequal access to employment and the mismatch between education and labour market requirements are among the reasons for the high youth-unemployment in Albania. The Vocational Education and Training (VET) system therefore is undergoing a reorientation in order to meet labour market needs. Through the Skills Development for Employment Programme Switzerland is supporting these reforms.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Albania
Education
Economy and Employment
Vocational training and skills development
Labor market development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
EDUCATION
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Vocational training
Employment policy and administrative management
Human rights

15.12.2014 - 31.12.2018


CHF 3'000'000



Programme d’Appui à la Formation Professionnelle

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018

Le marché du travail au Mali est caractérisé par une main d’œuvre peu qualifiée. Dans ce contexte, 300'000 jeunes arrivent chaque année sur ce marché sans compétences. L’offre de formation par domaine et/ou filière est en deçà des attentes du secteur productif. La formation professionnelle e 40'000 personnes dont 50% de femmes à l’horizon 2017, améliore la qualité des ouvrages et augmente la compétitivité des entreprises en contribuant à l’augmentation des revenus dans les régions prioritaires de la DDC et de la coopération danoise.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Education
Agriculture and Food Security
Vocational training and skills development
Labor market development
Agriculture value-chain development
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
EDUCATION
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
Vocational training
Advanced technical and managerial training
Employment policy and administrative management
Education facilities and training
Rural development

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


CHF 16'957'000



Modernising vocational education and training related to agriculture in Georgia

The image shows the VET college student Medea getting hands-on instructions in the Senaki College greenhouse on growing vegetables.

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018

Georgia’s vocational education and training (VET) system does not correspond to the needs of the transition to a market economy which the government has sought to bring about since the country gained its independence. The SDC is helping the Georgian government to develop a more modern VET system that integrates theory and practice and allows a long-term increase in farm productivity and rural incomes.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Georgia
Economy and Employment
Education
Agriculture and Food Security
Agricultural production (incl. management of natural resources)
Vocational training and skills development
Agriculture value-chain development
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
EDUCATION
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHING
INDUSTRY
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
Vocational training
Agricultural development
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Rural development

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 6'547'000



Economic prospects for young people in rural areas

Farmers are being trained on the vertical tomatoes planting techniques which double their production. ©DDC

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018

The SDC project in rural Aswan Governorate in Egypt aims to improve the economic prospects of local young men and women. The SDC promotes enterprises in the agricultural, livestock breeding and fisheries sectors to create new jobs and provide young people with an alternative to migrating to urban centres.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Egypt
Agriculture and Food Security
Education
Economy and Employment
Labor market development
Agriculture value-chain development
Vocational training and skills development
Agriculture value-chain development
Vocational training and skills development
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHING
EDUCATION
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, FISHING
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
EDUCATION
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
Employment policy and administrative management
Agricultural services
Vocational training
Agricultural development
Rural development
Vocational training
Rural development

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 5'020'000



Programme d’appui aux communes urbaines du Mali (PACUM)

01.01.2012 - 31.12.2019

Un des enjeux de la reconstruction du Mali se trouve dans la promotion de villes secondaires délivrant des services de base aux populations et redevables devant leurs citoyens. C’est l’objet de ce programme financé par la Banque Mondiale à hauteur de CHF 65’000'000. Sollicitée pour son savoir-faire en matière de développement local, la DDC apporte une contribution de CHF 18'200'000 (21% coût global) pour structurer la gouvernance à la base et soutenir les dotations d’investissement pour les villes de Koutiala et Tombouctou.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mali
Education
Agriculture and Food Security
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Rural infrastructure
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Rural infrastructure
Formal basic education (primary and lower secondary)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
TRANSPORT AND STORAGE
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
TRANSPORT AND STORAGE
EDUCATION
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Transport policy and administrative management
Public sector policy and administrative management
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Transport policy and administrative management
Primary education

01.01.2012 - 31.12.2019


CHF 18'220'000



Promotion of Tenure Track – The Tenure Track Pilot Programme (TTPP)

01.05.2017 - 10.12.2024

Top researchers and their teams receive financial support and favourable conditions in Croatian research institutions to realise their research. By this, Croatia remains attractive for scientists with high potential. Brain drain is prevented. Switzerland contributes to enhancing the Croatian research system by promoting a new career model for future professors.


Prabriddhi - Local Economic Development (LED) at District Level

01.01.2017 - 31.01.2020

In two urban municipalities and their surrounding territories, the public and private sector and civil society will engage in joint local economic strategizing, planning and implementation. A more vibrant, competitive  and better performing economy will benefit all people living in an area including businesses of all sizes and generate opportunities particularly for poor and marginalised women and men. The model of decentralized economic planning developed and refined locally will be replicated across Bangladesh.


Programme d’Appui à l’Education de Base (PAEB)

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

Malgré les avancées, le Burkina Faso fait face à des défis d’éducation. Chaque année, de nombreux enfants n’accèdent pas l’école ; la majorité de ceux qui y accèdent, abandonne avant d’avoir fait 6 années de scolarité ; 65% des adultes sont analphabètes. La DDC soutient les fonds communs, permettant au  Gouvernement et à la société civile d’améliorer les performances du système éducatif, à travers la décentralisation, l’adaptation, et l’extension des offres répondant aux besoins des populations.


Master of Advanced Studies in Development Cooperation (MAS)- NADEL

01.12.2016 - 30.11.2019

Mit der Unterstützung des Nachdiplomstudiums für Entwicklungsländer der ETHZ (NADEL) (Stufe “Master of Advanced Studies“) leistet die DEZA einen Beitrag an die Ausbildung von Nachwuchskräften für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (EZA). Die praktisch ausgerichtete akademische Aus- und Weiterbildung von Fachkräften der EZA, hat zum Ziel, Wirksamkeit, Effizienz und Innovation der Schweizer EZA dauerhaft zu sichern und zu steigern.  

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