The topic of girls education is of particular interest because women’s issues are my main focus. Since the 1990’s there has been a big push towards girls education and it has been shown that the more you educate girls, the more you educate the family. In a nutshell, since the 90s there has been a focus on universal free and compulsory basic education, where the coordinator of each district will go around and report on gender issues in schools. The teachers are then trained on gender sensitive material.
Poor communities do not have access to education—in Accra there are more options available and schools etc… that is not the case in the north. Everything seems to look better on paper than it actually is. Along with local help, there are tons of NGOs helping with education reforms. The most successful is feeding programs.
THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS—the UN came and outlined goals in 2000 and should be completed by 2015. These are to target girls and girls education
1 GOAL: Hope to have universal primary education by 2013----- this is not happening at all.
2 GOAL: promote gender equalty and women empowerment…. Girls would have the same access education that boys do. There would also be equal access for senior highschool and university by 2020.
CURRENT STATE OF GIRLS EDU IN GHANA
- Gender reforms that started in the 80s. There are 16 percent of boys and girls in (800k) primary school that are not in school… school is free—a lot of kids start late because they have to work etc and so they may come into school at 8 or 9. Between primary and junior and junior to senior there is heavy drop out. It is hard to say if the drop out rates are higher for girls or boys. Girls are doing traditional gender roles—96 percent of those enrolled in the home economic are girls… technical economics are 9% 30% Science and accounting. Girls are in nursing education etc.
BARRIERS TO GIRLS EDU
- cost is the largest barrier--- although education is technically free- you have school fees, uniforms, books, and If a parent really needs the child to contribute to the family income then they will stay home and contribute to the family income.
- Child Labor is 15 years old but they can do LIGHT labor, which no one knows what it means and it is not enforced.
- Early pregnancy and early marriage happens, espically in the north. If a girl gets married, her husband may not support her education. If the choice is between a daughter and a son going to school due to money, it is usually gonna be the guy.
- Male dominated learning environment—male teachers favoring boys, curriculum towards boys.
- Safety and inadequate facilities—the kids often have to travel a long distance and also are there sanitary options for girls especially… if the girl is on her period then usually she will stay home.
- Menses is very taboo, they don’t talk about it and there is such little money that money is not going to feminine products.
- There is also no where for girls to dispose of sanitary pads at school and so they would rather stay home.
|Volunteer, Student, and Scholar from TEACH ON THE BEACH... see my future post for more information or google it.... its pretty amazing.|
|Fati, a woman who is very passionate about what she does and what she envisions for the future of the youth in Ghana...and more.|
|Where the learning happens|
|public school in Madina|
|Public school in Madina .. it isnt finished but they still attend and learn|
GIFTED PROGRAM--- Ghana Wins!
-overall aim is to promote female leaders in education, nurses, and public policy (Steinhardt, Nursing, Wagner). Funded by a bank in Spain—it gets funneled through an organization that works to promote female empowerment in Africa.
-GOAL OF GIFTED PROGRAM
- aim to promote female leaders in education and promote girls education
3 YEAR GRANT PROJECT THAT WILL WORK WITH 36 WOMEN TOTAL BROKEN UP INTO 3 COHORTS. They apply and are selected by Steinhardt, the Spanish org.
Once they are accepted- they come to Ghana at NYU Accra for 1 week and then from there they do phone appts. 1 a month to discuss project plans, leadership and career plans and what they want to do in their school- PEOPLE ARE ACCEPTED AS TEAMS—one older teacher who has been around and one younger teacher who they can mentor and will create a program in their school.
*THEY ARE EXPECTED TO CREATE A CHANGE PROJECT meant to meet the immediate needs of the girls in their school. Most have taken forms of girls clubs, other do batik tie dye and others math and science .
-Final wrap up will take place first week in June where the women will present their change programs.
tTHERE ARE PEOPLE MAKING A DIFFERENCE... GET INVOLVED....SHE DESERVES IT