Improving Girls’ Life Chances Through Education

 

“To educate girls is to reduce poverty” – Kofi Annan

At RedEarth Education, we believe that every child has the right to a quality education. Yet according to UNICEF’s 2015 Uganda report, girls have fewer chances to complete their education than their male classmates.

IMG_1715While Uganda has successfully removed the gender gap in access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, achieving gender parity at primary level, the enrollment rate for girls at secondary level lags behind that for boys. Girls are also more likely to drop out of school early (49%.of all girls do not complete education.)

As a result, girls are more likely to experience poverty and marry early (almost half of women aged 20–49 were married before they were 18). Adolescent girls are also at greatest risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (accounting for two-thirds of all new HIV infections).

 

This is because the importance of educating a girl child is often overlooked in many Ugandan households. Community attitudes play a strong role in this, with many families prioritising their sons’ education, believing that girls do not need education to fulfil their future roles as mothers.Studies also suggest that girls’ education is undermined by a range of gender bias and discrimination in schools, textbooks, curricula, and in teachers’ attitudes towards girls, with a shortage of female teachers as role models.

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RedEarth Education works closely with rural schools in Uganda to help ensure that the importance of gender parity is understood and promoted throughout the community. We deliver quality training and professional development to hundreds of female teachers, empowering them through successful careers and providing strong, female role models to younger girls in the community.

We also train all teachers in ways to engage and motivate their students through active learning. Here are some fantastic and innovative examples teachers have put into practice, using methods learnt in RedEarth training and applying them to important topics that inform and empower their female students.

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Role play activity to learn the importance of and responsibilities involved in marriage
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Learning about the changes that occur during puberty
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Classroom poster showing different contraceptive methods
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Class activity discussing the causes and symptoms of AIDS
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This message in a bottle at Kihande Muslim Primary tells pupils to “fight for girls’ education”
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