One of the goals of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan is that children will be entirely removed from the chocolate supply chain and will have equitable access to quality education. To date the Nestlé Cocoa Plan has supported a range of initiatives including the construction of schools, establishing bridging schools and providing materials to help 10,000 children go to school. However, even when communities and families are committed to education, sometimes it is just not possible for children to go to school.
Key factors preventing access to education include:
- Physical distance from schools
- Poor infrastructure
- No formal ID, e.g. lack of a birth certificate
- Not enough places in schools
- Lack of qualified teachers
When children cannot go to school, the logical but difficult thing to do is to try and bring school to them.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan and ICI have recently formed a partnership with Eneza Education, a social enterprise that aims to provide universal access to learning via mobile technology. Eneza Education was founded in 2011 by a group of Kenyan teachers and educators who were united in their view that all children are entitled to equal access to affordable education.
Even in marginalised areas, mobile phone penetration in West Africa is high. Eneza education develop personalised educational content to be delivered by SMS (text message), to help students learn even when they cannot go to school. With over 4.9 Million learners, Eneza is now the largest “virtual classroom” in Africa.
Under the partnership with the NCP and ICI, 500 children in the Côte d’Ivoire will have access to the Eneza programmes in 2019 and results will be closely monitored.