Boosting the Quality of Education in Rural Ivory Coast

The world’s largest cocoa and chocolate companies have joined TRECC (Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities) to boost quality of education in rural Ivory Coast. With the help of local and international development organizations, the companies will implement different education models in some of the communities that they source products from. The goal of these partnerships is to achieve sustainable social impact by applying proven models and enhancing industry practices in cocoa-growing regions.

Ivory Coast has made significant progress in expanding access to education, and ambitious new Government policies show a strong commitment to ensuring that all children are able to enroll in primary school. However, learning levels remain low. Further efforts in early childhood development, primary school and vocational training are necessary to consolidate progress in achieving quality education.

10 models to be tested

Towards these efforts, companies Barry Callebaut, Blommer, Caboz, Cargill, Cémoi, Hershey, Mars and Mondelēz International have joined TRECC, the Jacobs Foundation’s programme in Ivory Coast, and engaged in the implementation of the most comprehensive quality education effort to date in the country. The initiative will test 10 proven models from around the world on topics related to education and child development. The interventions will address children of all ages and their caregivers as well as youth starting their professional lives.

Activities focusing on early childhood development include parenting skills trainings in nutrition, hygiene and stimulation. At a primary school level, the initiative will propose pedagogy models promoting student engagement. For example, one of the models that will be tested is a teaching-at-the-right-level methodology that will help teachers adjust the curriculum and activities to make them useful and accomplishable for students. Youth can also benefit from this initiative with financial literacy, agricultural life skills trainings.

The parties have committed to scaling the activities that yield good results. The models could be incorporated into the Government’s education policies, and TRECC and the involved cocoa and chocolate companies have also conveyed an engagement to scale up successful models.

TRECC is a unique collaboration between an industry, a government and several for-purpose organizations to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 4 (ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning).

Enhanced quality education

Another important goal of these partnerships is to enhance the role of quality education within industry sustainability strategies. TRECC aims for cocoa partners to internalize the business case for quality education and to think of the integration of education into their community development activities.

The initiative will reach up to 80,000 children and youth in an estimated 150 communities across cocoa growing regions in Ivory Coast over the next four years to provide quality education. Most projects will be implemented by international development organizations, some by local organizations and some by the companies themselves. The total amount invented to this initiative amounts to over USD 8.5 million.

Read more about TRECC.