Teacher Training for Quality Education (TTQE)
Working Group

SDG 4.7: Sharing practices & recommendations

The Teacher Training for Quality Education Working Group of the Swiss Network for Education and International Cooperation (RECI) aims to identify, share, and promote practices and recommendations to improve international cooperation actions in this field. The working group focuses a large part of its activities on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7:

By 2030 ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development. 

Thematic Day​

The TTQE Working Group organized a thematic day on SDG 4.7 in 2022. In this video, you can catch a glimpse of the panel discussions, which included Karen Roberts (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC), Yao Ydo (IBE-UNESCO), Roman Tesfaye Adamu (Emmanuel Development Association, Tina Hascher (University of Bern). 

Sharing experiences

The TTQE Working Group has collected RECI members’ experiences/projects concerning SDG 4.7 to showcase their work and inspire practices not only within the network but also beyond. 



The overall aim of the PAEB is to improve the quality of teaching in a sustainable way in around 10% of bilingual public schools in Burkina Faso.


Support Programme for Bilingual Schools (PAEB) / Burkina Faso


General context

Burkina Faso is one of the most disadvantaged countries in the world, with 44% of the population living below the poverty line on an income of less than US$1.90 a day. Since 2016, the country has also had to contend with recurring attacks by armed groups across almost the entire country, with serious consequences for the schooling of children in the regions concerned.

Nationally, more than 857 000 children and 942,000 adolescents do not attend school. What’s more, because of the poor quality of teaching, many pupils drop out of school prematurely, without completing the basic education curriculum. PASEC-type international assessments of pupil achievement show that a large proportion of school leavers do not have basic knowledge and skills. For these young people deprived of a quality education, their prospects are limited to poverty, working the land, economic exploitation in towns or mines, or worse, forced recruitment by armed groups.

For almost 20 years, bilingual primary schools have been developing in Burkina Faso to facilitate learning: classes are taught in French, the country’s official language, and in the language spoken by the pupils. Bilingual schools incorporate practical activities adapted to the pupils’ daily lives, as well as content linked to indigenous cultural values. The community is involved in setting them up and running them. Finally, the length of schooling is reduced to 5 years instead of 6 compared with traditional schools.

There are now almost 300 bilingual schools. Since 2007, they have come under the authority of Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Education, Literacy and the Promotion of National Languages (MENAPLN). The results of these schools have gradually deteriorated, generating a decline in interest on the part of parents and communities. To remedy this situation, MENAPLN has been calling on Enfants du Monde’s support since 2017 as part of its Programme d’Appui à l’Amélioration des écoles Bilingues (PAEB).

Issues and challenges for targeted SDG 4.7

Children’s rights at school: a theme included in the national curriculum, teachers questioning the universality of rights lack of training and teaching materials adapted to the context

Burkina Faso ratified the CRC in 1999 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) in 1992. In its most recent report for Burkina Faso, dating from 2011, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child noted the low rate of birth registration, the high number of children dropping out of secondary school, and the perpetuation of negative social and cultural practices such as early marriage and female circumcision. At its session in 2021, the Committee also stressed that there are still challenges and gaps to be filled to ensure the effective and inclusive participation of all children. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child also concurs with this analysis in its latest report on Burkina Faso (CRC/C/BFA/CO/3-4). It also expressed concern about the lack of consideration given to children’s opinions, despite the existence of a children’s parliament and its annual consultation on all important decisions taken at national level. In addition to this concern, the UN committee highlights the lack of dissemination of the Convention among children and their families and recommends that human rights and children’s rights be integrated into all levels of education.

At school, education for sustainable development (ESD) – of which education for children’s rights is one of the key themes – is currently limited to occasional treatment of « emerging themes » such as environmental protection or peace education in the teaching of life and earth sciences, geography and civics. Following the recommendation of the UN committee, the theme of children’s rights has been introduced into the national curriculum.

However, teachers lack training and appropriate teaching materials. A pre-training diagnosis carried out among PAEB trainers revealed that many teachers question the compatibility of the participatory rights contained in the CRC with their culture: in a society with age groups, where obedience to elders is a central value, where children are often a labour force, and where social relations are structured on a daily basis by hierarchical links with the elders, the principle of children’s participation in decisions on matters that concern them is not self-evident. Teachers are asking themselves: what is the place of children’s duties in the CRC? Doesn’t the implementation of the child’s right to express an opinion call into question certain positive cultural values such as respect for elders and obedience to parents? Doesn’t taking children’s opinions into account jeopardise adult decision-making in their interests and for their well-being? Doesn’t the exclusive promotion of children’s rights with no mention of obligations lead to a libertinism that is harmful to children’s harmonious development?

Responses to challenges

The PAEB’s strategy: to provide training in the teaching of children’s rights in a sustainable context and to promote the implementation of school projects that respond to the most pressing issues.

The PAEB has put in place a specific strategic orientation in order to respond to the problems of implementing and teaching children’s rights in the context of Burkina Faso: 1) integrating the theme of the Rights of the Child (ROC) into the content of training courses for trainers and teachers; 2) developing contextualised teaching materials for addressing the ROC in class with pupils; 3) supporting beneficiaries in formulating and implementing school projects to address the main issues relating to the implementation of the rights of the child identified in each school.

The PAEB’s strategy for training trainers and teachers is based on the following principles:

  • Sustainability : the training scheme is part of the national training strategy for players in Burkina Faso’s education system. The main players in the education chain are trained in this way: trainers/supervisors, school headmasters, teachers. EdM specialists train trainers, who in turn train the other players in the chain.

  • Hybrid training: the training system includes face-to-face training and distance learning, through the completion of concrete tasks before and after the face-to-face sessions.

  • Project-based learning: a project that meets a real need in the context structures the entire training system. The project gives meaning to the learning and enables learners to reinvest what they have learnt.

  • Contextualisation of teaching-learning: topics are addressed in close connection with the everyday reality of learners.

  • Transfer: the training of trainers and teachers is based on the same principles and mobilises the same teaching strategies that teachers will be required to use with their pupils; the experience gained in training thus encourages the transfer and application of approaches and strategies in the classroom.

By taking part in training on children’s rights, trainers and teachers help to develop teaching materials that address the issues and challenges specific to the context. The teaching materials developed are in turn structured around a class project on children’s rights, which lays the foundations for developing and implementing a school project on a targeted issue.

Relevance and innovative approach

A training project to develop contextualised teaching materials and training in their implementation

The trainers’ training project involved developing a teaching sequence (Séquence Didactique – SD) on children’s rights to be used in PAEB classes. The process of designing this SD was intended to answer the main questions raised by the trainers and teachers in connection with the implementation and teaching of children’s rights, so that the teachers could address the main issues relating to the rights of the child in Burkina Faso in the classroom, while maintaining a close link with the reality of their pupils. Each participant in the training contributed in one way or another to the development of the SD. In so doing, it was through the design of the SD that he/she trained him/herself to teach ED in his/her context and prepared him/herself to implement the SD with his/her learners.

The training/contextualised teaching materials were designed as follows:

  1. Based on the diagnosis of the UN committee and the committee of African experts on the implementation of children’s rights in Burkina Faso, the trainers identified the main problems encountered on a daily basis by teachers in PAEB schools in implementing children’s rights. They also built up a pool of real cases illustrating these issues, which enabled them to deepen their understanding of rights and how they manifest themselves in social practices. These cases were used to develop the SD.

  2. On this basis, a small group of trainers, in collaboration with EdM specialists, selected the teaching and learning content to be didactised, and developed the SD learning workshops that will give concrete form to the activities that teachers will carry out with their pupils in class.

  3. The training provided by the trainers for the teachers and headteachers enabled the teachers to take ownership of the SD with a view to deploying it with their pupils. During the training, the teachers had the opportunity to take a critical look at the learning activities in the SD and suggest improvements. In particular, they made comments relating to the way in which the activities were implemented, taking into account the realities of their classes: extending the teaching time scheduled for certain activities, completing or reformulating certain instructions to take account of the level of the pupils, reformulating certain questions to take account of the cultural context, making certain complementary teaching resources available, modifying the format of certain teaching resources made available, etc.

  4. The final version of the SD, entitled « A Fairer World », was submitted to the MENAPLN for validation, through the trainers attached to it. It was rolled out in 15 PAEB schools. The SD « A Fairer World » is available in Appendix 1.

A teaching sequence adapted to the teaching of children’s rights in context, class projects and school projects contributing to the implementation of children’s rights.

All the SDs developed by Enfants du Monde are structured around a class project that gives meaning to the learning and enables pupils to reinvest the knowledge and skills they have acquired through the educational activities. As part of the SD on the rights of the child, entitled « A Fairer World », the project proposed to the pupils at the end of the learning activities is to choose a right that is particularly important to them, to express themselves individually on this right through the creation of a drawing, and then to formulate, in collaboration with other classmates who have chosen the same right, recommendations for better implementation of this right. Appendix 2 shows a sample of the recommendations made by pupils in one of the participating schools. It should be noted that the right to identity received particular attention from the pupils: many children are not registered at birth, which subsequently hinders their schooling and the enjoyment of other rights.

The pupils’ drawings and recommendations were then shared with the entire educational community in each school. This laid the groundwork for the formulation of school projects to address the most pressing needs identified by the pupils in relation to the implementation of their rights. Appendix 3 presents a sample of a school project formulated by a participating school, the aim of which is to help establish birth certificates for all children. The school projects are scheduled to be implemented between late 2023 and early 2024.

Success factors, learnings and sustainability

The strategy of training teachers and contextualising teaching materials has already proved its worth, both within the framework of the PAEB and in other programmes implemented by EdM. It enables local players to take ownership of educational tools and approaches, and to integrate them sustainably into official state institutions and systems.

The strategy for developing and implementing school projects is new, and will have to be evaluated once implementation is complete, at the end of 2024. The fact that all the participating schools have identified problems in implementing children’s rights and formulated projects to address them is already a sign that the intervention makes sense to the players and meets real needs. To what extent will student participation be reflected in the implementation of school projects? Will the school projects be adequately supported by the schools’ governance structures? Will they give impetus to sustainable initiatives? These are all questions that remain unanswered for the time being.

More in-depth resources



Learning in Peace, Educating without Violence Programme – APEV-innovation / Benin



To strengthen peace and resilience to the influence of violence and extremism in Benin, by transforming the educational attitudes and methods of teachers and parents.

Specific objectives :

  • Reduce the use of violence in schools, families and communities.

  • To make schools more inclusive, democratic and equitable, by introducing positive and interactive teaching methods.

  • Make classrooms violence-free.

  • Strengthening the relationship between schools and communities.

General context

The north of Benin, an area of great ethnic and sociolinguistic diversity, is facing challenges in terms of quality and access to education. The security situation in the area is increasingly tense, and threats from non-state armed groups are a source of concern for the population.

Despite the existence of laws outlawing all forms of violence in education, Beninese children are still often confronted with abuse. Children are often the victims of violence, both at school and in their families: learning methods are still largely based on the use of « corporal punishment », insults, humiliation or difficult punitive work). Teachers and parents are not always aware of the nature of violence and its harmful effects on children’s development and, more broadly, on social cohesion. They are looking for alternative and effective methods of maintaining discipline without resorting to these different forms of violence.

Issues and challenges for targeted SDG 4.7

Promoting a peaceful society and ensuring national cohesion in this troubled context is a major challenge for Benin and for the Grains of Peace APEV-Innovation Programme. Its aim is to help strengthen peace and foster a positive sense of identity and belonging. By acting at the level of training for teachers and parents, the programme is helping to create the conditions that will enable children and young people to strengthen their defences against extreme and destabilising influences of violence and thus reaffirm their commitment to peace and non-violence.

Responses to challenges

The APEV programme is largely inspired by UNESCO’s advice on peace:

  • It trains those involved (educational advisers, teachers and parents) to reduce the use of violence in the classroom and within families to zero;

  • It strengthens relations between schools and communities;

  • It fosters a calm and positive classroom climate, making the school more inclusive and egalitarian in terms of gender and minorities;

  • It helps teachers, pupils and parents to acquire the social-emotional and non-violent communication skills needed to engage in dialogue, deal with disagreements and learn about peaceful approaches to change;

  • It develops discernment in all those involved so that they can hone their critical thinking skills to find out more about claims, verify rumours and question the legitimacy and appeal of extreme opinions;

  • It helps children and young people to build up their resilience, so that they can resist extreme rhetoric, overcome their doubts and participate constructively in society, without having to resort to violence.

At national level, the programme seeks to integrate the contributions of positive pedagogy (interactive pedagogy – collaborative, participative and democratic) into the initial training of future teachers.

Relevance and innovative approach

The intervention is based on a change theory established in a participatory manner to define and identify a common vision of the problems to be solved. Through a process of co-construction of educational resources with trainers of trainers and cascade training, this programme invites players to embody the values of peace and thus become agents of change. Particular support is given to teachers, the aim being to make them :

  • more comfortable exercising authority without violence;

  • better equipped to value students;

  • more valued themselves;

  • more integrated into the community in which they are posted;

  • more fulfilled when the school climate becomes positive;

  • able to deliver learning based on the principles of interactive teaching – collaborative, participative and democratic;

  • more aware of their role in contributing to social cohesion and preventing violence and extreme violence.

Educational resources co-constructed with stakeholders, in schools :

  • a training guide for teacher trainers (Conseillers pédagogiques);

  • an activity kit for teachers

The trainings and awareness activities systematically make use of experiential pedagogy, thereby having a significant impact. Implementing these through a cascading training mechanism also allows for reaching a wide audience of beneficiaries. Thus, the project aspires to shift social norms surrounding goals that are defined participatively.

Success factors, learnings and sustainability

Positive aspects

  • From the beginning of the project, representatives of the communities: traditional, civil, and religious authorities, representatives of parents of students, members of civil society, social workers, teachers, among others, were involved. This approach has led to community buy-in to common goals and provided essential context elements, widely used in the creation of educational resources by the project.

  • The co-construction of resources with local teams and partners has promoted their good adaptation to the context.

  • Classroom monitoring of teachers by educational advisors, who were previously responsible for their training, has anchored the skills acquired during training and incorporated them into daily practices.

  • Training the entire educational chain, associated with close collaboration with existing institutions, including ministries and their decentralized services, contributes to ensuring the project’s sustainability.

  • The relevance of the training: it is considered as a real space for personal and professional development (see Testimonials ”Resources for Further Studay).

  • The simulations of classroom activities conducted during training are seen as a source of inspiration and provide unique opportunities for appropriation.

  • At the end of the course, the teachers spontaneously committed themselves to transforming their classroom management practices; and the educational advisers to better supporting the teachers in this transformation by taking on the role of « coach » (see testimonials below).

  • The educational resources (theoretical texts and classroom activities) are highly appreciated by all those involved (see extracts and testimonials).

Limitations and the quest for sustainability

  • The 5-day course is considered too short by teachers.

  • The programme has not be yet to target all the teachers in each department.

  • There are frequent transfers of teachers and educational advisors trained by the project. They are replaced by staff who have not received the same training

The continuous training of teachers, within the Graines de Paix projects, should evolve towards a complete handling of the training process by the competent ministerial services. To this end, a technical committee, composed of ten officials from the Ministry who participated in the Graines de Paix trainings, was established in July 2023. This technical committee participates in the process of capitalizing on the experiences of teachers in the field and ensures consistency between the activities proposed in the Teacher’s Kit and the official guides. It also contributes to integrating the promoted pedagogy and peace skills into the revision of the initial training for teachers currently underway. These are important elements for the project’s sustainability that the program will continue to support in its next phases.

More in-depth resources



Demographic Changes and Enriched Society: Promoting Cultural Diversity and Social Inclusion in Higher Education in Italy (ProCEDI) / Italy



The objective was to contribute to the deconstruction of stereotypes linked to the theme of migration through the involvement of around 250 classes in the areas of Milan and Genoa.

General context

In a historical moment of great transition and the presence of substantial socio-economic disparities across all latitudes of our planet, the ProCEDI project « Demographic Changes and Enriched Society: Promoting Cultural Diversity and Social Inclusion in Higher Education in Italy », declined into « IntegrAZIONE – Beyond Prejudices in the implementation of educational activities”, has taken shape as a natural response, serving as a concrete tool to provide virtuous interpretations to the new citizens: the students.

School plays an essential role in the integration of young generations of foreign origin or with migratory backgrounds, as it not only constitutes a space for learning but also serves as a fundamental place for socialization among peers and for encountering and understanding diverse cultures. The consolidation of the migratory phenomenon in Italy is also evident from the strong presence of non-EU citizens in the Italian school system. In the 2021/2022 school year (the latest data available in metropolitan reports), there were 695,833 students of non-European nationality in Italian schools of all levels, accounting for 8.4% of the country’s school population.

Quantitative data provide a sensitive picture of the locations where migrants transit and settle. Observing longitudinal variations over time allows us to look at the long-term dynamics in two metropolitan cities (Genoa and Milan) that have already become home to many foreign residents.

Issues and challenges for targeted SDG 4.7

The process of transforming Italy into a multicultural society is still ongoing and presents complex questions about the construction of national identity and inclusion policies, which include but transcend immigration legislation. The representation of the migrant condition, often depicted in terms of emergency or poverty, overlooks the drive for social mobility triggered by the migratory experience, impacting host contexts in terms of demographic, economic, and cultural growth.

Many immigrants in Italy, with varying degrees of stability (long-term residents, naturalized citizens, second generations), present themselves in the public sphere as socially active individuals, in every work sector and beyond. This is a much more dynamic world than the image of the boat, which only captures a snapshot of the migratory reality towards Italy, before it becomes immigration within Italy. Above all, it is necessary to mend the fracture, polarized in the public and political debate, of « us and them », which is only partially problematized in scientific discourse, through qualitative research that seeks to give voice to and consider the perspectives of the ‘stranger who comes’ and is no longer such: paraphrasing Michel Agier (2020) to move beyond the perspective of hospitality towards that of integration. If we consider the movements of students in recent years, it is evident that a portion of students fighting for the right to public education belong to the world of new generations, who also have a migrant capital to draw upon, a repertoire of alternative ways of living in the world. It is to this young and culturally plural society that the educational project presented in these pages is directed.

By emphasizing education on cultural diversity and human rights respect, this project has provided a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the social and economic challenges faced by migrants. Through participative and interactive pedagogical approaches, the project fosters active learning and critical thinking. These skills are crucial for individuals to become responsible and engaged citizens, capable of contributing significantly to the construction of a fairer and more sustainable world.

Furthermore, by adhering to the principles of inclusive education and equal opportunities, this project offers the chance to develop sensitivity to diversity and recognize the value of migrants’ contributions to society. By promoting social inclusion and combating discrimination, it helps create a more welcoming and diversity-respecting school and community environment.

In summary, this project fully addresses the challenges posed by the SDG 4.7 by promoting quality, inclusive education centered on values of diversity, human rights respect, and peace promotion. It thereby prepares young people to become agents of positive change in their communities and beyond.

Responses to challenges

The activities proposed in class were based on a model of laboratory and active pedagogy, leading beneficiaries to develop critical thinking regarding the information and stereotypes widespread on the topic, and to put themselves in the shoes of those who live the migratory experience and the possible discriminations connected to it, thus working on the sense of empathy and understanding of others.

The educational objectives of the proposed meetings were:

  • Increase knowledge of the migratory phenomenon and develop awareness of the functioning of prejudices and their questioning;

  • Develop transversal skills for civil coexistence and trigger a process of intercultural discussion and dialogue;

  • Stimulate sensitivity on the topic of multiculturalism and ethnic diversity inside and outside schools.

Relevance and innovative approach

For the research model, the request was to have 6 classes participate (where possible) for each school. The workshops described above were implemented in 3 classes, and two questionnaires were administered. The other 3, however, constituted the « control group » for the impact assessment carried out by the two universities. The activities were not carried out in these classes but only the two questionnaires were administered: one before the start of the workshops in the other classes and one at the end. For the purposes of the research and to guarantee the randomness of the students selected for the workshops, the participating institute was asked to indicate the 6 total classes and the Bicocca University then drew lots in which of these to carry out the workshops and in which only the questionnaires.

If, for various reasons, it was not possible to have a total of 6 classes or if, on the contrary, the institute preferred to have more classes participate, the only constraint was placed that the number of the latter was always equal to guarantee that, for each class in which the laboratory was carried out, there was one in which the questionnaires were administered.

In total, 500 hours of workshops were provided, 4 hours for each of the 125 « active » classes. Overall, 500 hours of questionnaires were provided, 2 hours in each of the beneficiary classes, both the « active » and « control » ones.

The training methods used for the young trainers and teacher of the project was innovative and relevant because of the research-action path that was carried out in a participatory manner with all the young trainers/teachers of the project. This approach consented to elaborate the workshop that were bring to school directly with the contribution of the trainers. That allowed the development of teaching materials that were specific and adapted for the context. The trainers also contributed actively to the writing of the teorical manual with all the information and the insights about the topic of migration and integration in Italy. That was important because the contents of the project were co-designed with trainers and that led to greater engagement and ownership of the contents and methods.

Success factors, learnings and sustainability

During all the laboratory activities, teachers were always present with their students.

All the materials used during the workshops were provided to all the teachers who requested it and subsequently to all the representatives of each school involved in the activities to ensure that the teachers could reuse them in their hours and be able to continue talking about the topics treated during the laboratory activities.

Various seminars and conferences were organized which saw the teachers who were part of the project as guests to ensure that the “educational and teaching kit” could be spread as widely as possible and that other teachers would also become aware of the techniques put into practice during the activities.

More in-depth resources



Toolkit « Skills for the green transformation » / World



The VET Toolbox’s « Skills for the Green Transformation Toolkit » serves to enlighten policymakers, educational institutions, and development actors, presenting knowledge and case studies on effectively ‘greening’ post-secondary education.

General context

Amidst global sustainability commitments like the SDGs, Agenda 2030, and the Paris Agreement, the urgency for green transformation has surged.

Issues and challenges for targeted SDG 4.7

There is a global sense of urgency in addressing climate change, which means rethinking the way we live and work.

Responses to challenges

The “Skills for the green transformation” Toolkit and supporting knowledge products provide an introduction to the “green transformation” and an overview of approaches, tools, processes, and initiatives successfully implemented by VET Toolbox partners and other actors in sustainable development.

Paeradigms was brought in to:

  1. Support the « Skills for the Green Transformation » initiative.

  2. Develop knowledge products highlighting green skills for the EU VET Toolbox.

  3. Amplify the impact through comprehensive outreach tools.

Paeradigms’ methodology involved:

  1. Mapping worldwide development projects across six development agencies to understand their integration of green skills. Using interviews and desk research, green skill development strategies were identified and categorised.

  2. Drawing from good-practice examples to develop a Toolkit and Dashboard with a strong focus on key success factors easy referencing by criteria like sector or nation.

  3. Increasing the project’s visibility by designing a communications suite, including a poster, videos, and training materials.

Relevance and innovative approach

Working across five development agencies and with intergovernmental actors to share good practices.

Success factors, learnings and sustainability

  1. In-depth research: In-depth interviews and desk research enabled a robust understanding of the integration and categorisation of green skills development strategies.

  2. Alignment with global commitments: The initiative was anchored in global sustainability commitments such as the SDGs, Agenda 2030, and the Paris Agreement, making it highly relevant to contemporary global challenges.

  3. Broad sectoral coverage: The initiative covered a wide range of areas, from Vocational Education and Training (VET) to Energy and Gender & Inclusion, ensuring comprehensive insights and strategies.

  4. Collaborative mapping: The project integrated data from six development agencies worldwide, ensuring diverse perspectives and comprehensive data in green skills transformation.

  5. Practical tools & resources: The delivery of user-friendly tools such as an updatable database, interactive PDFs, and infographics provided stakeholders with tangible assets for understanding and implementing green transformation.

  6. Focus on outreach: By creating a communications suite inclusive of posters, explainer videos, and training materials, the project ensured that its findings and tools were effectively disseminated to target audiences.

  7. Training package: A comprehensive training package ensured that stakeholders had access to the necessary resources for implementation, driving tangible change.

More in-depth resources




GREAT – Gender-Responsive Education and Transformation / Rwanda



The GREAT project in Rwanda was designed to support the education system in its efforts to achieve a significant improvement in the quality of education in the country.

General context

Rwanda is an East African country with a population of over 13.3 million and a per capita GDP of $833.8 (World Bank, 2021). As in other African countries, children and young people represent the largest demographic category in the Rwandan population.

Although Rwanda had a net primary school enrolment rate of 98% according to the World Bank in 2014, the pass rate had fallen from 78.6% (2011) to 60.5% (World Bank, 2014). In addition, the percentage of qualified teachers was high (95.6%), as reported in 2013, but they make very little use of interactive and child-centred approaches. In addition, teachers often have a poor command of English due to the rapid switch from Kinyarwanda and French to English as a medium of instruction from 2008. Corporal punishment has proven to be a common form of discipline at school and at home, leading to lower attendance rates, lower academic results and higher drop-out rates, as reported by UNICEF in 2014.

Issues and challenges for targeted SDG 4.7

In addition to the issues of declining enrolment rates and the quality of teacher training, there are other aspects of education in Rwanda that need to be taken into account. Rwanda is a signatory to several conventions and declarations that emphasise the importance of gender equality in sustainable development. However, some districts are encountering difficulties in implementing the national directive.

In the districts of Bugesera and Kayonza, less than a third of primary school administrators are women, and the number of girls taking primary school examinations is significantly lower than that of boys. Obstacles to girls’ education include the burden of domestic work, gender-based violence, inadequate sanitation facilities in schools, dropouts due to early and unwanted pregnancies, and societal perceptions and cultural norms that discourage girls from continuing their education.

Responses to challenges

The project specifically supports the equal improvement of educational outcomes for 81 840 Rwandan girls and boys enrolled in 63 primary schools, particularly with regard to academic and life skills, in a safe and supportive learning environment.

To achieve this, Right To Play trains teachers and « champion » teachers to implement gender-sensitive play-based learning methodologies. Teachers are provided with teaching materials and, during Right To Play’s multi-year Continuum of Teacher Training (CoTT) process, they learn how to use playful learning effectively to support the development of life skills and the academic progress of their pupils. The « champion » teachers are key players in coaching and mentoring teachers in the participating schools, and are there to support their counterparts in their practices. In addition, Right To Play trains school headmasters and head teachers to support and sustain enhanced teaching practices.

Right To Play also establishes communities of practice, which facilitate peer-to-peer support for committed teachers, and carries out regular coaching and mentoring visits for them. These visits provide a feedback and support structure for the teaching staff. This helps to consolidate best practice with participants and provide an approach that is more tailored to the needs of individual teachers

Relevance and innovative approach

Right To Play is the leading global development organisation that uses the power of play – a transformative force in a child’s life – to protect, educate and empower children. For over 20 years, our pioneering approach to experiential learning has transformed children’s lives both inside and outside the classroom. Active and playful learning instils a love of learning in children, motivating them towards new discoveries both inside and outside the classroom. By becoming engaged and motivated learners, even the most marginalised children stay in school, achieve better results and are more likely to graduate. A better education improves children’s life chances and long-term well-being. With the knowledge and skills they acquire, children can flourish and make a significant contribution to their families and societies.

« Reflect, Connect, Apply » is a method we use in all our direct interventions to help children understand what they have learned during a particular activity or game. After the game, children reflect on what they have learned and relate these lessons to experiences and challenges in their lives. They then share strategies and ideas on how they can apply these lessons to overcome these experiences or challenges. This method helps children to assimilate the lessons, develop their fundamental skills and make them useful for solving potential problems.

Right To Play has developed the Continuum of Teacher Training (COTT) to align with international best practice in initial and in-service teacher training. COTT is a professional development approach that offers ongoing support and refresher training over a three-year cycle. This training concept responds to the need for ongoing professional development, rather than isolated training initiatives. Training is tailored to the context of the country of implementation to best meet local needs.

Success factors, learnings and sustainability

Two key aspects of sustainability can be identified in the GREAT project in Rwanda. Firstly, teachers, head teachers, children, parents and district education officers remain committed to continuing to use the knowledge gained during the project, including the use of gender-sensitive, inclusive and playful teaching practices and the creation of positive learning environments, both at school and at home. With the support of their headteachers, teachers will continue to use these gender-sensitive, inclusive and playful practices in schools, while continuing their ongoing professional development.

In addition, parents feel that sending girls to school is becoming increasingly commonplace, that communities are doing more to encourage them to succeed at school, and that learning activities at home can contribute to a child’s success at school. We can therefore say that attitudes are becoming more aware of the importance of educating girls and the importance of parents’ attitudes to learning at home.

Finally, at institutional level, the GREAT project’s approach and gender-sensitive, inclusive and playful teaching practices have shown a good level of ownership by local stakeholders. To ensure the long-term viability of the GREAT project, Right To Play has already transferred the GREAT project’s resources for the initial and ongoing training of key players to the University of Rwanda. In addition, most school headmasters plan to allocate more funds in the future for project objectives such as teacher training, girl-friendly facilities and girl-focused initiatives. In addition, working closely with Ministry of Education officials to train ambassadors for gender-sensitive, inclusive and playful practices within the ministries themselves has strengthened the institutionalisation of these teaching practices. It has also ensured that the approach is integrated into other government-led initiatives beyond the scope of the GREAT project. There are therefore good prospects for its sustainability in the project’s schools and the leadership needed to sustain it.

There were a number of factors that hindered a linear process of establishing the project, including the consequent effect of COVID-19, which led to the closure of many schools. In response to this challenge, teachers received training in psychosocial support in preparation for the reopening of schools, and this issue will continue to be taken into account in future programmes.

More in-depth resources


In contribution to SDG 4.7, we call for the integration of sustainability principles into curricula, teaching methods, and education systems across all educational levels, from primary to tertiary and adult education, to ensure our learners and institutions are well-prepared for the complex challenges of the 21st century. We acknowledge the critical importance of nurturing global citizens who can positively impact our interconnected world. The education process must begin with the active involvement of learners. Therefore, it is imperative to empower teachers as catalysts for change. Together, let us collaboratively instil in our students a profound sense of global responsibility, promoting understanding, empathy, and cooperation among diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Point 1: Partnerships and Funding for the SDGs

  • Quality education for all must be rooted in equal partnership approaches and collaborations.
  • Prioritising public education and funding both formal and non-formal Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is non-negotiable.


Point 2: Full Stakeholder Engagement and Inclusion

  • We call for the involvement of all stakeholders, including students, teachers, and the communities, to avoid disjointed educational visions.
  • Both, mainstreaming and targeting inclusion of disadvantaged groups (e.g. people with disabilities, indigenous people, etc.) in education systems is non-negotiable.


Point 3: Cultural Diversity and Decolonisation

  • We pledge to incorporate cultural knowledge, traditions, and values into our educational content as a source of enrichment for our societies.
  • This must be based on a decolonisation (or at least a localisation) approach, calling for the abandonment of paternalistic patterns and ideals and the promotion of local capacities and existing knowledge to address real needs.


Point 4: Human Rights, Peace, and Non-violence

  • We urge educational institutions, policymakers, and educators to weave human rights into curricula, and teacher training programs, and foster dialogue on peace and conflict resolution. Our goal is to cultivate learners who champion a more just and peaceful world.

Point 5: Gender Equality

  • We specifically emphasize the eradication of gender disparities in education, as gender equality is a non-negotiable fundamental human right.


Point 6: Sustainable lifestyles and green development

  • We call for a profound shift towards a green and just transition with education firmly rooted in green principles while ensuring every step we take towards progress is just, inclusive, and fair. The global “environmental” crisis calls for more sustainable lifestyles, environmental awareness, and climate action also within and through education systems, by that strongly considering current imbalances (e.g. climate injustice) of those most responsible / affected.


Point 7: Innovation and critical ESD infrastructure

  • We emphasize the importance of innovative approaches to education and insist on quality and universal digital inclusivity.
  • Promoting digital literacy is just as much a part of this as encouraging innovations, ESD exchange platforms as well as the establishment of critical ESD infrastructure within the education sector in the interests of sustainable development.


Point 8: Lifelong Learning

  • Lifelong learning forms the bedrock of SDG 4.7. As members of RECI, we firmly believe that education should be an ongoing journey for all individuals, transcending age and formal schooling. Let us cultivate an enabling environment that fosters lifelong learning, equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge to adapt effectively to an ever-changing world.


Do you have any experiences to share on SDG 4.7? What are the limits of this goal and the activities to implement it? Do you share the principles of our Manifesto? Should SDG 4.7 be revised for the post-2030 horizon?

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