Girls in a library

Increasing girls’ enrolment at the secondary school level

Background

In a number of socio-economically and culturally disadvantaged regions, the schooling ratio of girls was well below the national average. Drop-out rates were high due to cultural obstacles, parents’ inability to afford to send their children to school, parents’ lack of appreciation for the importance of girls’ education, and the lack of cooperation among different stakeholders. The absence of an efficient monitoring system made it difficult to accurately assess girls’ schooling rates and to develop appropriate policies. Another challenge was to provide more relevant vocational education and training (VET) so as to make it a more attractive alternative to secondary education.

The project’s aims and core activities

The objective of this project was increase enrolment rates, particularly for girls in secondary education and the VET sector, to reduce drop-out rates, to increase the vocational skills and competences of the labour force, and to increase awareness among parents of the importance of girls’ education.

A first step in implementing the project, which was piloted in 12 provinces, was to carry out a study identifying the reasons why girls are at risk of dropping out of primary or secondary schools. On the basis of the study’s findings, a monitoring system was designed to increase enrolment rates in secondary education.

Local labour market needs were also analysed in order to improve VET programmes, especially those aimed at girls. In addition, guidance teachers were given in-service training to increase their awareness of the VET sector.

In order to encourage girls who had already dropped out of school, catch-up courses were provided to encourage them to continue their education. Special modules were also developed to compensate the education of academically under-achieving students.

Joint activities, workshops, grant schemes, and awareness-raising campaigns – involving public institutions, social partners, municipalities, universities, NGOs, and parents – were also conducted to boost schooling rates.