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. 

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 13 – 24 of 88

ILFF 4 Education - Impact Linked Financing for Education to accelerate inclusive quality education through private sector engagement

01.08.2021 - 31.12.2025

Many countries face challenges and a considerable funding gap to meet the SDG 4. Covid-19 has aggravated this situation. Impact linked finance is an innovative way to leverage private-sector engagement in the education sector for the inclusion and quality learning of vulnerable groups. In collaboration with foundations, the project will pilot impact linked financing in education in SDC priority regions in order to accelerate learning, inclusiveness and quality of basic education.


PAEFE - Programme d’Appui à l’Education et à la Formation des Enfants exclus du système éducatif

01.08.2021 - 31.07.2025

Au Bénin, près de 35% des enfants âgés de 5 à 17 ans ne sont jamais allés à l’école ou en sont trop tôt sortis. Le système éducatif est élitiste et pyramidal, excluant ainsi un nombre élevé d’enfants. La Suisse à travers le PAEFE (phases 1 et 2), a développé avec succès un modèle pédagogique bilingue qui permet aux enfants d’être rescolarisés ou d’accéder à la formation professionnelle. La phase 3 vise le passage à l’échelle du modèle en responsabilisant l’Etat et les communes. 


Quality TVET for Youth (QualiTY)

01.06.2021 - 15.07.2026

The overall goal of the project is for Nepalese youth to benefit from quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and better employment prospects. To achieve this, the project will support the federal, provincial and local governments of Nepal to establish an accreditation and coaching system so that TVET schools can improve and meet national quality requirements. The project capitalises on Switzerland’s long-standing and unique expertise in TVET federalisation.


Financial contribution to the World Bank Trust Fund Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI)

01.05.2021 - 31.12.2025

Switzerland is supporting the newly created Trust Fund Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI). Through coordination and providing quality services, the GEI aims at strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems in developing countries for improved evidence-based policy making for better achieving national and global (SDGs) goals. Switzerland is committed to provide access to its partner countries and partner organizations to this initiative.


Partenariat Mondial pour l’Education – Global Partnership for Education (PME – GPE)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

Le Partenariat Mondial pour l’Education (PME) est le plus grand fonds en faveur de l’éducation dans les pays à faibles revenus. Il vise à soutenir les gouvernements dans le renforcement de leurs systèmes éducatifs. L’objectif de l’éducation universelle dans les pays en développement subit un déficit financier qui selon des projections alarmantes pourrait s’accroître de 200 milliards/USD supplémentaires en raison de la crise du Covid-19. Les effets sur les perspectives des jeunes sont dévastateurs. La contribution de la Suisse reflète l’accent mis sur l’éducation dans son Message sur la stratégie de coopération internationale 21-24.  


Skateistan

15.12.2020 - 31.12.2024

The Skateistan programme offers quality educational, sport and recreational opportunities to Afghan children and youth from low-income families, street working children, and children with disabilities. The programme facilitates the reintegration of out-of-school children into the formal public school system. Switzerland supports the Skateistan programme to contribute to create equitable, safe, and conducive learning opportunities especially for girls and marginalized children. 


PSPET - Programme de soutien au processus électoral en Tunisie

01.11.2020 - 31.12.2024

L’intervention contribue au renforcement de la bonne gouvernance des autorités électorales et à leur résilience pendant les périodes de crise. Elle veille également à assurer l’inclusion des différentes couches de la société dans la participation électorale et politique, à travers des approches innovantes et durables, ainsi que par la diffusion auprès des citoyen.ne.s tunisien.ne.s d’une information électorale fiable et sensible au genre. Le programme sera mis en œuvre par le PNUD et l’IFES.


O3+ Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future

01.10.2020 - 14.09.2025

This project uses targeted interventions in post-secondary educational institutions in Zambia and Zimbabwe to improve access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) among 18-24 year-olds. Working with UNESCO and Ministries of Higher and Tertiary Education, the project brings Switzerland’s lengthy experience in the HIV/SRHR field to bear by targeting an often neglected cohort of young people with tailored interventions to reduce HIV infections, unintended pregnancies, and gender-based violence. 


Eritrea Vocational Skills Training

01.09.2020 - 30.09.2023

Building upon a successful pilot phase (2017-2019), Switzerland will continue to contribute to two well established NGO-ted initiatives on technical and vocational education and training in Eritrea. The initiatives aim at improving the quality of teaching in targeted vocational skills institutions and testing the possibility of engaging in entrepreneurial activities. Ultimately the goal is to contribute to giving better life perspectives and job-opportunities to young Eritreans in their home country.


Explosion Beirut-Support to Education Sector

01.09.2020 - 31.08.2021

The project is a direct action to support the rehabilitation and renovation of public schools that were damaged by the 4th August blast in Beirut. The schools selected for the direct action are located in diverse neighbourhoods, with a particular focus on schools serving vulnerable populations of all nationalities and religious backgrounds (including refugees). The direct action is a contribution to the rehabilitation effort coordinated by the Ministry of education and the UN.


Programme d’appui à la formation professionnelle duale au Sénégal

01.08.2020 - 31.12.2022

Depuis 2015, la Suisse accompagne le Sénégal dans la mise en place d’un système de formation professionnelle dual adapté au marché du travail. Elle contribue ainsi à l’amélioration des perspectives d’insertion socio-économique des jeunes. Cette phase de sortie vise non seulement l’appropriation par les acteurs locaux et la capitalisation des résultats, mais aussi les synergies avec d’autres partenaires actifs dans ce domaine afin d’assurer la durabilité et la poursuite de cette dynamique de changement. 


Support to Vocational Education and Training (VET) Reforms in Uzbekistan

01.08.2020 - 31.12.2025

The main goal of the Support to Vocational Education and Training Reforms Project (SVRP) is to contribute to more gainful employment of VET graduates through improved access to the labour market. This will be achieved through a systemic approach supporting capacity development and better coordination among key government institutions and VET providers, by contributing to the development of better quality inputs, teacher training and by facilitating stronger participation of economic actors in the VET system.

Object 13 – 24 of 88