Capital for Good

Speed Schools for out-of-school children in West Africa

In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger there are over 3 million children aged 8 to 12 who are currently not attending school. Speed School is a 9-month accelerated learning programme implemented by local organisations, which enables these children to catch up on the educaiton they have missed, pass the entrance exam and go back to school.

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  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)



The Speed School curriculum was developed by regional education experts in cooperation with local organizations, and compresses the first three years of primary education into 9 months. It is targeted towards vulnerable children aged 8 to 12, serving as a link between non-formal and formal education. Teachers receive thorough training to implement the course which focuses on literacy in the local language and French, as well as numerical skills, covering the topics that the children will have missed. Each speed school consists of one teacher and up to 30 students, who do not pay school fees. Local communities provide a classroom and housing for a teacher, and the local organization provides materials such as a blackboard and desks. After 9 months the children are equipped to take the entry exam (required for children over the age of 8), are able rejoin primary school at the appropriate level and Speed School moves on to the next village. The cost of establishing one speed school is ₤3,300, at which a maximum of 30 (average 25) children can be enrolled. Indirect beneficiaries include the Local Management Committee members (made up of parents and local leaders), and the wider community who are made aware of the importance of education. The budget breakdown for one school is as follows: - Local partner direct costs (staff training and salaries, motorbike maintenance and fuel, administration, monitoring and evaluation): ₤1,100 - Teacher Salaries: ₤600 - Teacher training cost: ₤250 - Centre costs (desks, chairs, blackboard, chair and table for teacher): ₤500 - School materials for children (textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, chalk): ₤80 - Capacity Building (Training workshops for local partners, quality assurance): ₤470 - Monitoring and Evaluation: ₤300 Total ₤3,300