Thursday, July 10, 2014

Giving girl child second chance for primary and secondary education

Tanzania has made significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG 2) i.e. achieving the universal primary education. The remarkable step toward the goal is the eradication of school fees for primary education in 2001. In secondary education, the Ward secondary schools programme has realized its goal to over 85% whereby there is a public secondary school in almost every ward in  the country. 
Despite the progress, however, there are still challenges such as high shortage of qualified teachers,shortage of teaching and learning materials, libraries, science laboratories, desks and chairs, etc. 
Gender disparities in enrollment  and access to primarily and secondary education is a common feature in the Tanzanian eduction sector. Primary and secondary school enrollment ratios for boys and girls is not equal. Education access for marginalized groups and other vulnerable groups such as disabled and orphans is also a big challenge.
However, the situation is very worse in Sukuma pastoral societies of the Maswa district and Simiyu region as whole. Gender disparities in access and enrollment for primary and secondary education is alarmingly high. Taking example from Nyalikungu ward (the capital of Maswa district), the average of the enrollment ratio within five years was 91% for  male students and 70.6% for female students. 
Disparity in academic performance,  enrollment and high school drop outs affects more the girl pupils  due to early/forced marriage, gender stereotyped attitudes over girl child, gender disparity in domestic workload between girls and boys,  wrong traditions and customs which denied girls  for eduction since they are defined as inferior and weak who are not fit for managerial, leadership and expertize roles.
In response to this problem, our organization has launched a campaign which among other things is aiming at;
i.  Improving  capacities in  rural communities to effectively respond to issues of girl child education.
ii.  To reduce the number of girls not attending school in rural communities by supporting more than 1,000 girls with logistics to enrol or continue their schooling.
We educating the community on the effects and solutions of school dropouts among girls pupils, early/forced marriages and child pregnancies. 
 The Director is leading training to girl pupils, teachers and parents in Malampaka village on the way to stop early marriages and child pregnancies to girl pupils as the means of controlling school dropout to girl pupils.

The Facilitator leading discussion to pupils, parents and teachers on collective strategies for controlling early/forced marriage and child pregnancies to girl pupils in Malampaka village, Maswa west.

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