Accelerated Education

Millions of children remain out of school, especially where educational systems are struggling with growing populations and increasing displacement and migration. So how can we provide education opportunities for the millions of disadvantaged, over-age, out of school children and youth? Accelerated Education can be a pivotal strategy that addresses this need.  

What is Accelerated Education?

Accelerated Education (AE) is a flexible, age-appropriate programme, run in an accelerated time frame, which aims to provide access to education for disadvantaged, over-age, out-of-school children and youth. This may include those who missed out on, or had their education interrupted by, poverty, marginalisation, conflict and crisis. The goal of Accelerated Education Programmes (AEPs) is to provide learners with equivalent, certified competencies for basic education using effective teaching and learning approaches that match their level of cognitive maturity.

The purpose of Accelerated Education Programmes is to provide learners with equivalent, certified competencies for basic education using effective teaching and learning approaches that match their level of cognitive maturity.

Globally, over 263 million children and adolescents are out of school, either because they never started, or because they dropped out after enrolment. The most marginalised are most at risk, including forcibly displaced children and young people, ex-combatants, girls, and children with disabilities. With each missed school year, there is greater likelihood that these children will be unable to return to formal education, resulting in greater risks to their protection.

National education policies frequently prevent learners from enrolling in primary school after a certain age. Older students who are able to enroll in formal education systems are much more likely to drop out early, and when there is an influx of over age learners, there is not only the potential problem of further overcrowding classrooms and difficult teaching conditions with multiple age ranges, but there are also considerable protection risks in mixing older and younger children in one class. Certified Accelerated Education Programmes are a key way to allow older children and adolescents to access an age appropriate education.

AEPs reduce the number of years in a learning cycle, and allow students to complete a certified, equivalent level of education in a shortened time frame. Once the AEP has been completed, it is hoped that learners will reintegrate into the regular formal schooling system, enter into skills-based technical and vocational education, or directly into the workforce with certified literacy and numeracy skills in place. 

The structure of AEPs vary: in their pace of acceleration, the age ranges they target, and the approach to teaching and learning that they employ. Most AEPs are multiple exit and multiple entry meaning that once a student has completed the appropriate levels of an AEP and are the right age for the right grade they can transition into formal education; or that a student who has dropped out in Grade 3 does not have to begin an AEP in level one.

The Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) AEWG Logo

The Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) is made up of a number of education partners supporting and/or funding AE programming. The AEWG aims to improve the quality of AE through developing guidance and tools to support a more harmonised, standardised approach to AE provision. Please see the resources section below for the AEWG guidance and tools, available in Spanish, French, English and Arabic. Since its inception, the AEWG has also committed to engaging and advocating for AE within national policy, donor strategies, and programmatic responses to address the issue of out of school, over-age learners in both emergency, crisis and protracted contexts.

Please see the AEWG animation for an overview of our work..

Please see the AEWG 2020 Year in Review and AEWG 2021 Brief for what we are currently working on.

This collection was developed with the support of Martha Hewison, UNHCR / AEWG Chair.

Manual/Handbook/Guide

Accelerated Education Definitions

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

With a succinct one-page Accelerated Education Definitions document, the AEWG has clarified the differences between several key terms, including: Accelerated Education, accelerated learning, catch-up programs, remedial programs, and bridging programs.

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Accelerated Education 10 Principles for Effective Practice

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

These 10 principles aim to clarify the essential components of effective accelerated education programmes (AEP).

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Infographic

10 Principles for Effective Practice Poster

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

This is a printable poster that includes all 10 Principles. Great for workshops or to hang up in your office as a reminder of the key components of any Accelerated Education programme!

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Accelerated Education Decision Tree

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

A one-page diagram/tool for deciding when to use accelerated education programming.

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Manual/Handbook/Guide

COVID-19: Pathways for the Return to Learning

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

As education systems start to reopen and support students to return, four responses are most relevant in the return to learning: extended instructional time, catch-up programmes, remedial education, and accelerated education programmes. These programmes increase the amount of instructional time, provide additional support, or prioritise learning outcomes to help learners get back on track

English
French
Spanish
Arabic
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Accelerated Education Programme Checklist

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

Aligning your programme with Principles and Action Points The Accelerated Education Programme (AEP) Checklist was created as a tool for programme designers, implementers, evaluators and agencies to use alongside the AEWG Guide to the Accelerated Education Principles.

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Accelerated Education: Guide to the Principles

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)
,
Enabling Education Network (EENET)

The inter-agency Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) reviewed and distilled a set of global good practices and guidelines for AEPs. This guide helps establish what is considered good practice, and is intended to evolve into a standard.

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Accelerated Education Programme Monitoring & Evaluation Toolkit

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

The purpose of this toolkit is to support the design and implementation of M&E Frameworks for specific accelerated education programmes in order to support learning and accountability.

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Training Material

Accelerated Education Workshop: Policy and Practice in Accelerated Education

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

The purpose of this five-day training is to build participants’ knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of Accelerated Education (AE) programming. This training is intended for anyone involved in designing and implementing AE programmes and technical-level staff working on AE or non-formal education policy within a ministry of education.

English
French
Arabic
Spanish
Concept Note

Accelerated Education Working Group Learning Agenda

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

This Learning Agenda, developed by the Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG), aims to organize and generate evidence to inform strategic planning, project design, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation and in-service training efforts of Accelerated Education (AE).

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Advocacy Statement

The Case for Accelerated Education

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

The Education 2030: Framework for Action identifies the need for non-formal and informal education programming which affords flexible and alternative pathways and entry/re-entry points into the formal education system.

Arabic
English
French
Spanish
Video media

Accelerated Education Programs

Published by
Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Accelerated Education (AE) is flexible, age-appropriate programming that promotes access to education in an accelerated timeframe for disadvantaged groups. This video is a product of the Accelerated Education Working Group, and developed by Wildeman Media, 2017.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Accelerated Education Evidence Review

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

This evidence review collates and analyses recent evidence from a range of accelerated education programmes (AEP) globally. 

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

Catch-up Programmes: 10 Principles for Helping Learners Catch Up and Return to Learning

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

Building on the AEWG’s programme definitions and our expertise in AE and other non-formal or alternative education options that accelerate the acquisition of knowledge and skills, the AEWG developed this set of principles and action points for catch-up programmes.

English
Manual/Handbook/Guide

COVID-19 Pathways for the Return to Learning: Guidance on Condensing a Curriculum

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

The goal of this document is to assist Ministries of Education (MoEs), district offices, curriculum developers, and implementing partners in developing a condensed curriculum for primary school or guiding practitioners to do so. 

English
French
Spanish
Arabic
Case Study

Accelerated Education Principles Case Studies

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

In 2016, the AEWG developed 10 Principles for Effective Practice for Accelerated Education and an accompanying Guide to Accelerated Education Principles. Field testing of these two tools was conducted between mid-2016 and March 2017.

English
Report

Alternative Education: Filling the Gap in Emergency and Post-conflict Situations

Published by
Education Development Trust (formerly CFBT)
UNESCO International Institute for Education Planning (UNESCO-IIEP)

This book reviews some alternative education programmes, including those providing alternative access, such as accelerated learning programmes and home-based or community-based schools. It also examines programmes that are alternative in curriculum provision, offering non-traditional subjects such as HIV and AIDS prevention or landmine awareness, and those that provide an alternative pedagogy, using more learner-centred and participatory techniques.

English
Case Study

Case Studies on Education in Conflict and Transition Contexts

Published by
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

This Field Note outlines UNICEF’s role in providing education in conflict-affected contexts. It presents recent developments in this field and discusses lessons learned and good practice based on our experience through country case studies.

English
Report

Youth and Alternative Education in the Democratic Republic of Congo Plans for a Field Study

Published by
Education in Crisis & Conflict Network (ECCN)
US Agency for International Development (USAID)

This discussion paper marks the beginning of a process leading to field research and a published report. The purpose of this process is, first of all, to identify crucial gaps in knowledge that hamper the expansion of equitable access to education in conflict-affected contexts.

English
Video media

Webcast on Accelerated Education: 10 principles and pocket guide for effective practice

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)
Education in Crisis & Conflict Network (ECCN)
US Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID ECCN, in partnership with the Inter-Agency Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG), hosted a webcast on June 9 featuring a first preview of the AEWG’s Accelerated Education pocket guide, featuring 10 key principles of Accelerated Education.

English
Presentation

AEWG at CIES 2019: Talking evidence and tools

Published by
Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG)

At the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) 2019 Annual Conference in San Francisco, representatives of the Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG) and partners working in Accelerated Education (AE) presented evidence on the impact of Accelerated Education programmes (AEPs) and reflected on the use of the AEWG tools to support policymakers and practitioners globally.

English