Global Issues & ODA

Japan's Action

November 19, 2007

Japan prioritises education as an important component of "poverty reduction". The Medium-Term Policy on ODA also stated the importance of "assistance in human resources development" for promoting sustainable growth. Support will be provided to improve basic education, higher education and vocational training in developing countries, and to assist the development of human resources in a wide range of fields, for example by providing scholarships to study at higher education institutions in Japan.

Source: Supporting the Joy of Learning (Japanese / English (PDF, 5.16MB)Open a new window)

ODA Policy on Education

The Framework Featured in ODA Charter & Mid-Term Policy (Extracts)

Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter (August, 2003)

  • I. Philosophy: Objectives, Policies, and Priorities
    • 3. Priority Issues
      In accordance with the objectives and basic policies set out above, the following are Japan's priority issues:
      • (1) Poverty Reduction
        Poverty reduction is a key development goal shared by the international community, and is also essential for eliminating terrorism and other causes of instability in the world. Therefore, Japan will give high priorities to providing assistance to sectors such as education, health care and welfare, water and sanitation and agriculture, and will support human and social development in the developing countries. At the same time, Japan places importance on providing assistance to issues considered as indispensable in realizing poverty reduction such as sustainable economic growth, increase in employment, and improvement in the quality of life.

Japan's Medium-Term Policy on ODA (February, 2005)

  • 2. Regarding the Perspective of "Human Security"
    • iii. Assistance that Emphasizes Empowering of People
      People will be regarded not just as a target of assistance but also as the "promoters of development" in their societies. Importance will therefore be placed on empowering people to become self-reliant. In concrete terms, this means providing vocational training and necessary services such as health and educational services, and improving institutions and policies conducive to realizing the potential of people's ability in order to foster self-help.

The Contents of Japan's Cooperation for Education

(photo1)02_image01.jpg ©S.Yoshimura

1. Basic Education
Japan provides assistance to ensure access to education and improve the quality of education to all children, through hardware assistance such as construction of classrooms as well as software assistance such as curriculum improvement and teacher training, particularly in science and math, and assistance for strengthening school management capacity. Japan has been also supporting Non-formal Education which includes literacy education for adults, who had never received formal education.

2. Higher Education and Vocational Training
Japan provides assistance to develop human resources to support the socio-economic development of developing countries. Japan's assistance includes upgrading vocational training facilities and universities, improving the curriculums and teaching methods in fields such as engineering, agriculture and business administration.

3. Assistance for International Students
Based on "Plan to Accept 100,000 Foreign Students", Japan has advanced various policies to increase the number of foreign students studying in Japan, including planned development of system to accept Japanese government scholarship students, support for privately financed foreign students, and enhancement of education and research guidance given to foreign students.

4. Fast Track Initiative (EnglishOpen a new window)
In April 2002, the Education for All-Fast Track Initiative (FTI) was created as a global partnership to achieve "UPC: Universal Primary Completion by 2015". The establishment of FTI was suggested by the G8 Education Task Force created after the G8 Geneva Summit in 2001. It is also a vehicle for achieving the Monterrey Consensus that donor countries will provide additional support to help developing countries' develop policies to enable the achievement of the MDGs. Under FTI partnership, in addition to bilateral assistance, there are two multi-docor trust funds; Catalytic Fund and Education Program Fund. Japan will also contribute to these FTI –related Fund in FY2007. Japan will also provide a new fund towards FTI related fund from 2007.

Initiatives & Funding Commitment

(photo2)02_image02.jpg ©aglance

1. BEGIN: Basic Education for Growth Initiative (Japanese / EnglishOpen a new window)
At the Kananaskis Summit in June 2002, Japan announced "BEGIN: Basic Education for Growth Initiative". This is Japan's strategy for supporting basic education in developing countries. This was based on the conclusions of the World Conferences on "Education for all" which were held in 1990 and 2000 and built international consensus to set the global goal to that every person would be able to have an equal opportunity to receive basic education by 2015.

2. Assistance for Education in Low-Income Countries (Japanese / EnglishOpen a new window)
At the Kananaskis Summit, Japan also announced that it will provide over 250 billion yen (about 2 billion dollars) in assistance for education (including assistance for international students and vocational education) over the next five years. This assistance targets low-income countries which have difficulty in achieving the Dakar goal.

Good Practices on Education

Kenya "Strengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE)"

The Government of Kenya has set a goal to achieve industrialization by 2020. Accordingly, the government needs to improve science and math education at primary and secondary levels to develop human resources needed to support such industrialization. It is in this context that Japan assisted a project for "Strengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE)" since 1998, providing in-service training in science and math in Kenya (in nine selected districts). Kenya's experience and achievements have gained great attention from neighboring countries in Africa when a regional cooperation network in education called "SMASSE-WECSA" was established in 2002. Currently, more than 30 African countries are participating in the SMASSE-WECSA to conduct training and establish a regional network. Additionally, in 2004 Japan joined the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). Since then Japan has set up a working group for mathematics and science. It has also been contributed to sharing the knowledge and experience of SMASSE-WECSA, as well as in leading in the area of development assistance in mathematics and science education

Source: Supporting the Joy of Learning (2005)/ODA White Paper (2006)

Beautician Training Course (Basic Training Project for Social Reintegration of Demobilized Soldiers in Eritrea)

(photo3)02_image05.jpg A scene at the beautician training course (photo: JICA)

Eritrea is located in East Africa. After gaining its independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after 30 year war of independence. Eritrea then experienced 3 years-long border conflict with Ethiopia since 1998. As a result, there were approximately 300,000 soldiers in Eritrea (approximately 100,000 of them are women), out of a population of 4.3 million. At the end of the conflict, demobilization and reintegration of soldiers were essentially needed for Eritrea's development. As Japan's project executing agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted a survey looking at employment trends in the capital city Asmara, focusing on women. The survey indicated an increasing demand for beauticians and potential opportunities for employment and the start up of businesses in this sector. Also, the survey showed there were 2 training schools for beauticians with capacity and motivation to conduct vocational training courses in Asumara. Thus, JICA worked with the two existing training schools and implemented 3 months training provided beauticians from Japan. According to the employment survey conducted three months after the completion of the course, over 70% of the graduates were either working in the related areas or starting up their own businesses.

Source: ODA White Paper (2006)

Cooperation with Multilateral Organizations

1. Cooperation with UNICEF Open a new window
UNICEF is the UN organization that leads on children's and women's education and health care. Japan works with UNICEF at various levels in various sectors such as education, health care, water and child protection.

(photo4)02_image03.jpg Photo: UNICEF

In 2002, the Government of Japan provided 252 million yen in grant to the UNICEF-supported "the Project for Support to Intensive District Approach to Education for All (IDEAL)." The grant aid supported the provision of educational materials and teachers' training manuals in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the classroom level. In addition, cooperation has been promoted between Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) and UNICEF's IDEAL project. For example, IDEAL project contains monitoring of effectiveness of the students' workbooks in math developed by JOCVs .

(photo5)02_image04.jpg Photo: UNICEF

In Afghanistan, due to the prolonged conflict, the education system was devastated and many people were deprived of opportunities for education. As education and employment of women were banned under the Taliban regime, the enrollment ratio for primary education in 1999 was 38% for boys and only 3% for girls. After the establishment of the interim government in 2001, UNICEF conducted primary education support including "Back-to- School" campaign. The government of Japan contributed about US$11 million grant aid (about 65% of total contribution from the international community) to UNICEF's activities on primary education and contributed for about 3 million children to go back to schools. Also, Japanese NGOs dispatched 11 Japanese staffs to the UNICEF office in Afghanistan. The Government of Japan and private sectors contributed to this campaign together.

In Iraq, three wars and more than 10 years of economic sanctions devastated the country's education system, which used to have a reputation as the best educational system in the Middle East. Japan provided about US$42 million to support UNICEF's "Back-to-School" program in Iraq, providing learning materials to students, rehabilitating schools and providing teacher training.

2. Cooperation with WFP

In 2005, WFP provided school meals to about 21.7 million people in 74 countries around the world to improve children's nutrition and school enrollment ratio. Japanese government provided about 7.9 billion yen to WFP in 2006. This contribution is used to fund WFP's school feeding programme. In Cambodia, School Aid Japan, a Non-Profit Organization (NPO), provided school meal to 3,950 students (including 1,950 girls) in 13 national schools with the use of foods provided by the Government of Japan and others.
SAJ also provided food to 380 households that send their girls from 4th grade to 6th grade to school, depending on their class attendance rate. (SAJ provides take-home food to 500 of especially poor students from 2nd grade to 3rd grade, and they also provide assistance for textbooks, and rehabilitation and construction of school facilities such as school buildings, wells, toilets, at their own expense.)

Photo from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Handbook (MOFA, 2005)

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