Improving Girls’ Education in Northern Uganda
One of our primary missions is to increase access to primary and secondary education for girls in Northern Uganda by building awareness and support for girls’ education in communities. Girls access to education continues to be an area that is deeply troubling. The overall primary education graduate rate in Northern Uganda is at 47%. However, in some of the areas where African Women Rising works not a single girl graduates from primary school.
Removing the Obstacles
The main barrier is poverty as parents are not able to afford to pay for school fees. But even in families where funds are available girls still fail to advance academically. Girls are expected to help with household chores and their irregular attendance at school leads to a failure in passing year-end exams. Not passing means they are held back and must repeat a grade. Once a girl starts menstruating lack of access to menstrual pads lead to more days missed and before long many girls drop out completely. With few other options the trend is for girls to marry early and have children at a young age. These children are in turn less likely to complete primary education and the perpetuation of the issue continues.
A Program with Solutions
Our new Girls Education program increase access to primary and secondary education for girls in rural areas of the conflict-affected Acholi region of Northern Uganda. The program focuses primarily on children of African Women Rising members who participate in our livelihoods programs and are reaching a financial status where they can begin to sustainably afford school fees.
In this program, we work together with parents, caretakers, schools and government officials to create this change. The program also provides sanitary pads, academic mentorship, and life skills to 750 girls in 10 remote schools in Northern Uganda.
Our goal is to have 50% of these girls graduate in their grade level in 2017 and 55% of girls graduating in 2018 and have 25% of 7th grade girl students to continue to a secondary institution in 2017 and 30% continue to a secondary institution in 2018.