DAKAR, – Education Development Center (EDC) and The MasterCard Foundation are set to announce a $15M, five-year project that will help more than 30,000 Senegalese youth develop the skills they need to secure jobs or start a business.
The Projet de l’amélioration des performances de travail et d’entreprenariat (APTE-Senegal) will focus on 200 lower secondary schools and 50 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools throughout the country, providing students with career counseling and transition to work services, including entrepreneurship coaching and mentoring, job shadowing, internship and job placement. The initiative will further train 1,575 Senegalese teachers to roll out EDC’s Work Ready Now! curriculum, a program that helps young people in emerging economies develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace or in a livelihood.
APTE-Senegal will be launched at an event on March 23rd at 10 a.m. at the Ndiambour Hotel, 121, rue Carnot in Dakar. Speakers will include: Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of National Education; Mamadou Talla, Minister of Technical and Vocational Education and Training; EDC President and Chief Executive Officer, David Offensend; and MasterCard Foundation Program Manager, Samuel Yalew Adela.
“EDC is proud to continue our work with The MasterCard Foundation to help institutionalize strategies for youth employability in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Seni Diop, Project Director. “APTE-Senegal not only builds upon our joint work in Rwanda, it will inform ongoing research on the impact of work-readiness programs in secondary and TVET schools.”
APTE-Senegal builds on the Akazi Kanoze2 project led by EDC in Rwanda, which has provided thousands of Rwandan secondary students with work-readiness skills and school-to-work transition support to increase their chances of employment. The project initially targeted 16,500 Rwandan youth, however, it is anticipated that the initiative will have directly reached 25,000 young people, as well as indirectly reaching all Rwandan students enrolled in secondary and TVET schools across the country. The Government of Rwanda has integrated EDC’s Work Ready Now! approach in the national curriculum to equip general secondary and TVET students throughout the country with the skills they require to succeed.
“We are excited to deepen our partnership with EDC, an organization that has helped integrate work-readiness training into the curriculum in Rwanda,” explains Samuel Yalew Adela, Program Manager, Education and Learning, The MasterCard Foundation. “While the project aims to reach a critical mass of Senegalese youth, APTE-Senegal will also support the country’s efforts to reform its curriculum and improve the teaching and learning practice of teachers.”
EDC will work closely with the Ministry of Technical and Vocational Education and Training to strengthen programs, improving its connection to local market demands and existing economic opportunities in the regions of intervention. The project will further integrate EDC’s Work Ready Now! curriculum and provide school-to work transition support, including job placement, internships and other work-based learning opportunities.
In addition to focusing on these 250 schools, EDC will work with the national and regional ministries’ institutions in both TVET and secondary education to build the capacity of these institutions to provide a sustainable structure for continuing teacher training, and manage a national roll-out of the program.
APTE-Senegal will serve six regions (Diourbel, Thies, Ziguinchor, Sedhiou, Kolda, and Kedougou) over five years to build youth capacity in employability, professionalism and entrepreneurship. The training will directly reach about 30,000 young people over the life of the project.