MCC aims to increase the accessibility, gender equality, relevance, and quality of education for disadvantaged people in poorer countries. Education is a fundamental human right. It enables women and men to realize other rights and fulfill their potential. It is also a powerful tool in the fight against poverty. Yet around 125 million children worldwide do not go to school. Drop-out rates are high, and those children who are in school often receive an inadequate education, with poor teaching, scant resources and inappropriate curricula. MCC will work with our partners to enable education institutions and systems to provide high-quality education for all, and to overcome the barriers that currently prevent this.
Highly-motivated, well-trained and professionally-supported teachers are crucial for an effective education system. MCC will help to improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers by working at all levels of the education system, from teacher-training to policy-making. Teachers are often undervalued and poorly remunerated: we will support efforts to improve their situation and advocate better conditions.
The value of basic education, particularly for girls, is well established. MCC’s contribution focuses on training and supporting more and better primary school teachers through pre-service teacher training and, increasingly, continuing professional development for teachers already in schools.
Secondary education is vital for the development of personal and professional skills and producing the next generation of skilled personnel. In countries where there is a serious shortage of trained teachers, we provide classroom teachers if genuine efforts are being made to address the causes of teacher shortages, or if school systems are being devastated by conflict or other traumas. Volunteers teach key subjects, including English where this is the language of instruction. They also teach English as a foreign language if knowledge of English significantly improves livelihoods for disadvantaged people. MCC also works in capacity-building roles and at a strategic level, for example, by supporting local staff in strengthening school management and by advising on curriculum development and education policy. Our work will reflect the increasingly important role of information and communications technology in education. We will contribute to the current debate on how to make post-basic level education more relevant to disadvantaged people by drawing upon our experience of the value of secondary education.
Two out of three children not attending school are girls. Yet educating girls is the single most effective means of reducing poverty and key to empowering women. MCC will promote gender equality in education by placing volunteers in specific gender-related roles and by encouraging all volunteers working in education to address gender issues.
Many children and adults have little or no access to formal education. Increasingly, MCC will support initiatives which provide learning and development opportunities outside formal education, such as community schools, vocational training, and peer-education programmes.
Education and other rights
Education is a natural arena for promoting other rights and responsibilities, in areas such as gender, disability, and HIV & AIDS. MCC will encourage volunteers to address these issues and provide training where necessary so that they can do so confidently and with cultural sensitivity.