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When Her High­ness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser an­nounced the Ed­u­ca­tion Above All ini­tia­tive, no one would have ever imag­ined the dy­nam­ics of the com­mit­ment or the huge num­ber of chil­dren world­wide miss­ing out on their fun­da­men­tal right to ed­u­ca­tion.

Ed­u­ca­tion for All, a global pro­gramme of Ed­u­ca­tion Above All, is work­ing to ad­dress the is­sues that keep at least 57 mil­lion chil­dren world­wide from their right to a qual­ity pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion. The pro­gramme sup­ports suc­cess­ful ini­tia­tives on the ground, pro­vid­ing re­sources and sup­port ef­forts around the globe that pro­vide qual­ity pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion. EAC also works with gov­ern­ments and third par­ties in coun­tries to pri­ori­tise the im­por­tance of ad­dress­ing the out-of-school chil­dren is­sue.

Ac­cord­ing to Ed­u­ca­tion Above All CEO Mar­cio Bar­bosa, since HH Sheikha Moza took on this ini­tia­tive less than six months ago, a lot has been done. EAC was al­ready sup­port­ing pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion for 500,000 pupils through 25 co-funded projects in Africa, the Mid­dle East, Asia and South Amer­ica. EAC's tar­get of sup­port­ing 2 mil­lion out-of-school chil­dren to en­rol in qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes this aca­demic year is on track, with the goal of reach­ing 10 mil­lion by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

Bar­bosa said: “A key part of EAC's man­date is to ad­vo­cate for pri­ori­tis­ing en­rol­ment and re­ten­tion in pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion for marginalised chil­dren in re­gions suf­fer­ing from con­di­tions such as poverty, con­flict, dis­crim­i­na­tion or nat­u­ral dis­as­ter. By get­ting gov­ern­men­tal sup­port and en­dorse­ment for our projects we are cre­at­ing the con­di­tions for a long-term co­op­er­a­tion and a sus­tain­able op­er­a­tion.”

As a part of this goal, ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ters and high-rank­ing del­e­ga­tions from 15 EAC pri­or­ity coun­tries in­clud­ing Al­ge­ria, An­gola, Afghanistan, Burk­ina Faso, Co­moros, Demo­cratic Repub­lic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nige­ria, the Philip­pines, South Africa, Tan­za­nia, Ye­men and Zanz­ibar will be in Doha to dis­cuss ways of col­lab­o­ra­tion. The high-level min­is­te­rial meet­ing will see at­ten­dance from coun­tries that are presently not work­ing with EAC but need to ad­dress pre­vail­ing chal­lenges to bring chil­dren into the pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

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