Education is critical to helping a child achieve her or his potential, providing an alternative to working in the fields and broadening opportunities for the future. We find that most children want to go to school, but sometimes it is not possible due to distance from school or limited capacity in the schools. This is why, as Nestlé, we have been building schools in Cote d’Ivoire since 2012. It is important that once in school, children are engaged in learning, which is why the quality of education is also a focus of our attention. We want to see the children of our farmers in school, learning and enjoying the experience. By ensuring that they are able to read and write when finishing school, they become a new generation with increased income options in rural areas. This is complementary to our work helping today’s farmers increase productivity and income and therefore create a better living for their families.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan partners with organisations that have expert knowledge of the challenges facing cocoa-growing communities and have implemented programmes on the ground to deliver meaningful results.
Our partner in education is The Jacobs Foundation, one of the world’s leading foundations dedicated to improving the positive development of children and youth. The organisation bases funding decisions on solid evidence and aims to drive systemic change through comprehensive approaches. Its main objective in Côte d’Ivoire is to improve the quality of education particularly in rural areas, which is key in reducing the risk of children entering child labour.
Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) program
Only one third of Ivorian children receive education for ten or more years and of those in school, 80% don’t achieve minimum proficiency in reading and maths. The Jacobs Foundation is therefore working with public and private organizations to develop a sustainable ecosystem that will ensure education leads to the necessary results for all children. Education begins at home, with the parents and caregivers, in early childhood through positive stimulation, adequate care and nutrition. It continues at school, as children learn basic skills such as reading and writing. They subsequently acquire the socio-emotional and technical skills that are crucial for success in the labor market. The Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (TRECC) program offers a variety of solutions and partnerships for each of these stages in life.
The partnership programme with the Nestlé Cocoa Plan has two main thrusts: the first is to establish bridging classes which help children who have left formal education or who have never entered school to (re-)integrate into the public school system. In an accelerated, 9-month course provided by locally trained community teachers they can catch up on reading, writing and maths skills. The second is remedial support classes of those children once they are in school so that they can keep up with their peers. By offering this combined approach it is expected that children are not only less at risk of child labour but that they have a higher chance to finish school and to ultimately succeed in life.The Jacobs Foundation’s financial contribution is paid upon achievement of an agreed set of KPIs through a results-based payments system. The accompanying program evaluation assesses those learning outcome KPIs on an annual basis and allows for further analysis of the achieved impact.
The KPIs include:
Number of beneficiaries receiving support
Increased literacy and numeracy level
Retention and reintegration into school
Strong partners on the ground include ICI and the Ivorian Ministry of Education, which are key to the successful implementation of the TRECC-Nestlé partnership and its continuation beyond the programme duration.
For more information on TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities), visit http://treccprogram.org/