Educate! tackles youth unemployment by partnering with youth, schools, and governments to design and deliver education solutions to equip young people in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. Rigorous external evaluations of Educate!’s flagship in-school model in Uganda have found that this solution leads to improved incomes, transferable skills, and other education and gender equity-related outcomes, especially for young women. This in-school innovation includes a 35-lesson course on leadership and entrepreneurship, one-on-one mentoring sessions focused on personal development and business clubs designed to help Scholars design projects that generate income. To increase sustainability and scale, Educate! also supports governments in integrating core components of this proven skills-based curriculum into national education systems, and has done so in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. This year, Educate! launched a new model for out-of-school youth: industry and target group-specific skills bootcamps for youth who cannot access secondary school.
In 2016, GIF invested $300,000 in Educate! for implementation in 350 Ugandan schools and then 500 schools in 2017. The grant was later amended and increased in 2017 to conduct a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) involving 48 of those schools in 6 districts. The grant also helped strengthen Educate!’s partnership with the Ugandan Government in providing technical, strategic, and implementation support to improve the national curriculum and quality of teacher training. This has positioned Educate! to scale to all regions of Uganda and expand to new countries.
Before school closures in March 2020 due to the onset of COVID-19 in East Africa, Educate! measurably impacted 46,000 youth annually across Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. An additional 431,000 youth were reached indirectly by participating in business clubs with scholars, curricula reform and teacher training with the government. The GIF-funded RCT showed that Educate! graduates improved soft skills such as creativity, grit, ability to manage stress, and self-efficacy relative to non-Educate! graduates. Educate! graduates are more likely to complete high school, with young women at 7.9% — enough to virtually close the gender gap. Female graduates are also 25% more likely to enroll in tertiary education and are 22% more likely to select business and STEM majors in university. While it is too early to quantify the economic returns of Educate!’s programme because the success of the tertiary education enrolment is resulting in a delayed entry into the workforce, the programme has generated positive social spillovers with graduates reporting fewer sexual partners, delayed family formation, less risky sexual behavior, shifts in social norms around women’s role outside of home, choice to work and refuse sex, reduced acceptability of intimate partner violence and reductions threat to violence.  In Rwanda , Educate!’s model works through the education system to instill skills-based learning experiences for youth. In 2015, Educate! partnered with the Rwandan government to change education policy and have followed up to provide training and support to teachers in their efforts to create hands-on, practical learning experiences.
 Results publication forthcoming; https://www.poverty-action.org/printpdf/37681