Pathway 1 - Education

Pathway 1 - Education

This pathway contributes to change by:

Promoting sustained access to quality education services for OVC, especially girls. This will include early childhood development, primary, secondary and vocational education. Through this pathway, CARE will promote both improvements of the education services at the side of the service providers, as well as their use at the side of the service user (the OVC).

  See below for the specific sections of this pathway. For further information on each section please refer to the attached document.


  • Children from historically marginalized groups. Poverty and awareness among parents are key issues.
  • Adolescent girls (including married girls and young mothers). They lack proper sanitation facilities in school and face a risk of GBV and gender-insensitive teaching methods.
  • Children without adult support. They are kept from school by financial constraints and a need to work or fulfill other responsibilities at the household. This includes children who are too old to (re-)enroll in primary or secondary school. For them, alternative solutions are sought.
  • OVC up to 5 years in rural areas have very limited access to ECD services.
  • The Ministry of Education, who is the primary actor responsible for the educational sector in Rwanda and manages Rwanda’s education policies.
  • The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion and National Commission for Children, whose vision includes that “all children, without any discrimination, will receive full support and protection needed to enjoy their rights and to develop their maximum possible capacities”.
  • The National Commission for Children (NCC), with the objective to coordinate interventions related to protection of children.
  • The Rwandan Education NGO Coordination Platform, which brings together all main actors intervening in the education sector. The partnership focuses on coordination and exchange of knowledge and experience with its members.
  • UNICEF, who technically supports MINEDUC and is an important partner in coordination and advocacy.
  • Faith-Based Organizations, who are the owners and managers of a significant number of primary schools in Rwanda.
  • The National Policy for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (MINALOC, 2003) insures the access to free primary education as well as to continued education beyond the primary level.
  • The Integrated Child Rights Policy (MIGEPROF, 2011) specifies the government's commitments related to access to and quality of education, including special measures for children who need to work to cater for themselves or their families
  • The Education Sector Policy (MINEDUC, 2003) lays out several high-level aims of the Ministry of Education, including the availability and accessibility of quality and relevant education to all Rwandese people. It includes the target of providing 12 years of basic education to all Rwandan citizens as of 2012 (scaled-up from 9 years).
  • The Girls Education Policy (MINEDUC, 2008) looks at the elimination of gender disparities in education. Its three focus areas are access, quality & achievement, and retention & completion.
  • The ECD Policy (MINEDUC, 2011) and strategy are essential in the light of CARE Rwanda’s aim to scale-up our ECD models. The policy has been adopted, but is currently being improved.
  • The Special Needs Education Policy (MINEDUC, 2007) responds to specific challenges that certain children face in accessing education services due to poverty, gender issues or stigmatization.

When it comes to strengthening educational services, CARE Rwanda’s strength does not lie in technical support such as school construction or teacher training, although we do not exclude doing this through partners, if we see a particular need. Our focus lies rather on ensuring inclusion and equal treatment of all children, awareness raising on child rights, supporting children without adult support to go to school, and community advocacy for high quality services. We do this by using a combination of well-tested models and innovative approaches, including the following:

  • Early Childhood Development Model (ECD). Through a combination of Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers, home-based ECD and home visits, CARE Rwanda support the psychosocial, cognitive and physical development of children under 6 years old
  • Child Mentorship Model. It provides OVC with an adult mentor to help them in multiple areas in their lives. The participating children choose adults they trust to serve as their volunteer mentor
  • Community Scorecard. It facilitates dialogue between citizens and service providers. It allows citizens to monitor and give feedback on the quality of a certain service provided. 
  • Sanitiation Facilities in Schools. In its Vulnerable Women Program, CARE and partners are working on sanitation marketing, an innovative approach involving the private sector in the marketing for and provision of sanitation facilities, including latrines and hand washing facilities.
  • Catch-up Education and Vocational Training. These forms of education are especially relevant to OVC who have never enrolled in or dropped out of formal education. CARE Rwanda does not provide education or training programs, but rather link OVC to existing opportunities, provided either by government or by other organizations.
  • Advocacy. Through its experience from the above interventions, CARE Rwanda collects evidence on the accessibility of educational services for OVC.

For further information on the models and approaches please refer to the websites "Project" page or the "Models" page. 

The following indicators are used to measure impact at the level of this pathway:

  • Primary and Secondary School completion rates (disaggregated by sex).
  • OVC's performance in primary and secondary schools (disaggregated by sex). 
  • CARE Rwanda has developed a strong model for home-based ECD and ECD home visits to families with children of 0-18 months. Due to the integration of the 5x5 model, the ECD model looks at children’s development in a holistic way.
  • Since 2007, CARE has worked with parents, community leaders and the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) to create high-quality ECD services for children from prenatal through age 5. Between 2008 and 2013, Kuraneza project established 10 ECD centers in Kamonyi District, now reaching over 1,100 children a year.
  • Through the Child Mentorship Model, CARE Rwanda and its partners have facilitated OVC to go to school. OVC mentors and teachers testify that OVC have returned to school or managed to stay in school support by their mentor and that their performance is better. The model has also increased advocacy to local associations, NGOs, and local authorities so that more assistance can be received.
  • Within COSMO and NIPS projects, 1,177 OVC have accessed vocational training or apprenticeships. 827 of them subsequently organized themselves into cooperatives, facilitated by the projects.
  • Kuraneza
  • Keeping Girls at School Project
  • ECDRE (ECD in Response to Emergency)
  • Financial Inclusion for Out-of-School Adolescent Girls
  • NISU (Nkundabana Initiative Scale-Up)
  • COSMO (Community Support and Mentoring for Orphans and Vulnerable Children)
  • NIPS (Nkundabana Initiative for Psychosocial Support)

CARE Rwanda is committed to learning, to continuously improve the relevance and quality of its work. In relation to education, it poses itself the following questions:

  1. Do children who have attended an ECD centre or home based ECD group perform better at primary school? Experience so far indicates that a positive link does indeed exist. The Kuraneza project engages in ongoing research, collecting evidence with regards to this question.
  2. How can we improve the academic performance of OVC, e.g. through supporting a reading culture or peer to peer support?
  3. How to ensure that education services for OVC are of sufficient quality? CARE Rwanda’s experience is more related to ensuring access, but less on improving quality