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Ma'mura NASIROVA
on Tue, September 17, 2013 at 02.40 am

E-discussion: Innovating for Girls' Education - WEEK ONE: Innovation in Education Infrastructure

Details:

 

WEEK ONE: Innovation in Education Infrastructure and Environment

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED - PARTICIPATE THROUGH 27TH SEPTEMBER!

Introduction

A well-equipped learning environment and a quality educational infrastructure is essential for boys and girls alike to benefit from a stable and worthwhile learning experience. Access to resources and facilities, as well as a professional, safe, productive and academic environment, are essential to allow students to thrive. New infrastructure projects and learning initiatives can be innovative solutions to social as well as physical challenges that girls face both in and outside the classroom. In this e-discussion, the conversation will focus on how innovative solutions of this nature can help girls feel better equipped, more engaged and safer in accessing education and in their learning environments.

Use of technology and the internet can be an excellent example of innovation, but much simpler, more practical, less expensive and non-technical solutions which help make infrastructure, facilities and the delivery of education more responsive and sensitive to the needs of girls can be equally as original and are well worth sharing. These can include initiatives to improve girls’ access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects; the provision of lighting and electricity; new road and school building; access to teaching resources and learning materials, including books; private tutoring and alternative education programmes; and financial schemes to provide student access to resources.

In this e-discussion, we encourage you to share your stories of innovative solutions and best practice - especially examples that are scalable and can be replicated in different contexts - as well as your opinions and experiences. In addition to practical solutions which relate to the provision of resources and facilities, we are also keen to hear about ideas of and solutions in addressing social problems, through the creation of learning environments in which girls are comfortable, safe, accepted and are able to fulfill their potential. These can include, but not limited to, the safe transportation of girls to school; the availability of hygiene and sanitation facilities; safeguarding and whistle-blowing initiatives; and school inspections and accountability.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Can you share specific examples of programmes, projects or initiatives that use/used innovative, sustainable, effective and efficient solutions to common problems relating to educational resources, infrastructure or environment? Tell us about the location, background, stakeholders, purpose, nature of innovative solutions and results of the initiative (in not more than 300 words).

  2. What positive impacts do you believe innovative solutions in the provision of education infrastructure and environments can have on girls - for example, increased retention rates and improved performance?

  3. What role do you think girls have to play in shaping and developing innovative solutions, how can they be included in planning to ensure their needs are met and how can they take control of the direction of their own learning?


We look forward to your participation – please share your ideas, thoughts and stories not later than 27th September.

Thank you in advance for contributing to this e-discussion.

The Moderators,

David Crone, Plan International, Member of the Youth Advocacy Group for the UN GEFI

Vanessa Beary, Founder, Entrepreneurial Lab

 


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Achieng Beatrice Nas from United States of America
Fri, September 27, 2013 at 08.04 pm

Empowered and Educated girls are solutions to their communities. I think every educated woman in the developing world should shoulder upon themselves the burden of girl education by supporting atleast one rural girl attain an education, a girl they are not related to, “a stranger”. This is what I am fighting for. I am currently supporting 67 rural Ugandan girls in secondary schools and University. I hope to continue with this project for as long as I live; not just in Uganda but Africa as a whole.

Secondary and tertiary education are the most effective ways of breaking through poverty circles including early marriages in rural Africa and the developing world over. What does it benefit to educate a girl in primary school (5 -11 years) and leave her get married by the age of 12 -15 because they and their parents cannot afford secondary education?

I founded Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE Foundation) http://pce-foundation.org , operating in Tororo and Buteleja Districts of Eastern Uganfa. I realised working with the entire community (the girls, families, schools, pupils/students) would reduce issues of school drop-outs and early marriages. My aim is to involve and encourage community participation in our every development and intervention. This approach has helped the community work together and to “own” the achievements on the ground.

I will tell you a little about myself; Coming from one of the poorest families in Uganda, attaining an education was impossible through my family, an American family sponsored my education from secondary school/high school to University,  5years ago I graduated with Bachelor of Information Technology. I also come from a family if 12; 7 brothers and 5 sisters but have lost all my 7 brothers to HIV/AIDS and 2 of my sisters, we are only 3 left but with 16 nieces and nephews, I am the core support to all.

After my degree I got a job, well-paying job and was able to support my family. I decided to support my community too! This marked the formation of Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation in 2011. I started with the girls; connecting rural Ugandan girls with mentors/sponsors from across the globe who pay for their secondary and tertiary education as well as nature their dreams. Today, through the Rural Girl Child Mentorship project (RGCM Uganda) - https://www.facebook.com/RGCMUganda , we've 67 girls enrolled good Ugandan boarding Secondary schools and University, with over 1612 pending applications from highly motivated but poorest-vulnerable girls who we are currently are unable to support due to lack of funds, girls get married by the age of 12 because their parents cannot afford secondary education.

There is a lot to of barriers to girl education basing on my personal experience and challenges I have gone through and observed through my working experience with the NGO world, especially with Build Africa which exposed me to rural schools and communities in Uganda and Kenya, and my current Organization, Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE Foundation), supporting some of the poorest communities in the world.

PCE Foundation -  http://pce-foundation.org is a grassroots focused NGO in Uganda, empowering the rural communities especially the girls, women and children through dynamic but simple programmes that directly involve and benefit rural communities.

Our Mission is to enhance knowledge and skills, promote exchange of information and best practices through Education, Mentorship, Trainings, Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships for Social Cultural and Economic Development.

Our Vision is to have empowered communities that can take charge of their own developments.

Involving the parents, teachers, learners/the girls and donors in our interventions/organizations is very vital in achieving gender equity in education. I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation anyone can become someone admirable. Nobody is a nobody, everybody is somebody.

Last but not least piece about me: I am 30 years old,Ugandan, here in the United States for Leadership and Management Training by Community Solutions program under IREX, sponsored by the State Government. I am training with Wellesley Centers for Women at Welleslley College, Massachusetts.

Clara Chindime Education officer (Girls Education) from Malawi
Fri, September 27, 2013 at 10.11 am

Can you share specific examples of programmes, projects or initiatives that use/used innovative, sustainable, effective and efficient solutions to common problems relating to educational resources, infrastructure or environment? Tell us about the location, background, stakeholders, purpose, nature of innovative solutions and results of the initiative (in not more than 300 words).

In Malawi, most schools do have gender responsive sanitary facilities. The toilets are either on one side for both boys and girls or do not offer any sense of privacy. With the establishment of mother groups (a group of 14 women from around the school who provide support and counselling to girls); the situation in most schools have changed. By working with the school management committees, they have constructed a grass fence around girls toilets and have also taken the initiative to construct grass fenced bathrooms for girls. In these bathrooms, there is a bucket and soap to be used by girls should they start menstruation while at school. The schools would also often have a female teacher who would keep basic sanitary materials such as cotton wool and a piece of Chitenje (wrap around cloth) so that girls can easily assist themselves at school and do not miss lessons. In 4 districts of Malawi (Nsanje, Chikwawa, Thyolo and Mangochi), where Creative Centre for community Mobilization os working with support from UNICEF, mother groups and School Management Committees have been a powerful force in bringing back to school over 600 girls including teen mothers. Over 220 of these girls were given basic needs like soap, uniform, sanitary pads, writing materials and school bags to ensure their regular attendance in school.

What positive impacts do you believe innovative solutions in the provision of education infrastructure and environments can have on girls - for example, increased retention rates and improved performance?

Innovative solutions in infrastructure do have an impact in girls’ attendance and retention. Once girls are regularly attending school, their learning outcomes will also improve

What role do you think girls have to play in shaping and developing innovative solutions, how can they be included in planning to ensure their needs are met and how can they take control of the direction of their own learning?

Girls have to take part in school development discussions to voice out the type of infrastructure that best works for them. Most times children are not part of the discussion when it comes to school improvement and they just get a product which may not respond to their needs. The one size fit all type of infrastructure does not address the needs of girls and boys equally

Clara Chindime Education officer (Girls Education) from Malawi
Fri, September 27, 2013 at 09.49 am

Can you share specific examples of programmes, projects or initiatives that use/used innovative, sustainable, effective and efficient solutions to common problems relating to educational resources, infrastructure or environment? Tell us about the location, background, stakeholders, purpose, nature of innovative solutions and results of the initiative (in not more than 300 words).

In Malawi, most schools do have gender responsive sanitary facilities. The toilets are either on one side for both boys and girls or do not offer any sense of privacy. With the establishment of mother groups (a group of 14 women from around the school who provide support and counselling to girls); the situation in most schools have changed. By working with the school management committees, they have constructed a grass fence around girls toilets and have also taken the initiative to construct grass fenced bathrooms for girls. In these bathrooms, there is a bucket and soap to be used by girls should they start menstruation while at school. The schools would also often have a female teacher who would keep basic sanitary materials such as cotton wool and a piece of Chitenje (wrap around cloth) so that girls can easily assist themselves at school and do not miss lessons. In 4 districts of Malawi (Nsanje, Chikwawa, Thyolo and Mangochi), where Creative Centre for community Mobilization os working with support from UNICEF, mother groups and School Management Committees have been a powerful force in bringing back to school over 600 girls including teen mothers. Over 220 of these girls were given basic needs like soap, uniform, sanitary pads, writing materials and school bags to ensure their regular attendance in school.

What positive impacts do you believe innovative solutions in the provision of education infrastructure and environments can have on girls - for example, increased retention rates and improved performance?

Innovative solutions in infrastructure do have an impact in girls’ attendance and retention. Once girls are regularly attending school, their learning outcomes will also improve

What role do you think girls have to play in shaping and developing innovative solutions, how can they be included in planning to ensure their needs are met and how can they take control of the direction of their own learning?

Girls have to take part in school development discussions to voice out the type of infrastructure that best works for them. Most times children are not part of the discussion when it comes to school improvement and they just get a product which may not respond to their needs. The one size fit all type of infrastructure does not address the needs of girls and boys equally. Currently, Malawi has introduced the School Improvement Plan and the planning process involves consultation among different stakeholders in a school, including girls themselves.

University Women Graduates of Marbella
Thu, September 26, 2013 at 07.35 am

Education infrastructure and development .For some of you from countries that are still striving for girls to have basic rights my comments may seem unimportant,but in Spain for inteligent girls with below average family income it is very important.Getting a job in Spain has become increasingly difficult.One of the "must" is having a good knowledge of English.We ,SFUW have worked out a plan in which retired british,american or women with a good knowledge of the language ,volunteer to have a conversation class once a week with one of our young scholarship winners.The advantage for the older woman is that she contributes to society and is still "useful".Besides she has the opportunity to speak and be heard by the young,thus she is back in the world.Our girls have the chance to speak in Englush free of charge and get to see senior citizens are not just "·old people".Garbiñe President of Spanish Federation of University Women (SFUW)

Lal Manavado from
Thu, September 26, 2013 at 10.42 am
An excellent way of enhancing individual development.
 
In my comments to these fora, my thesis  has been the untenability of the traditional notion of 'development', and to advocate the adoption of a holistic alternative.
 
Such an alternative should be conceived of as enabling the individual to develop one's abilities so that one may be able to lead a life of  desired quality without entailing any harm to others and our environment.
 
 
Your effort has the additional bonus of enriching the lives of those teachers, who contribute to the development of the girls enlisted.
 
Lal Manavado.
 



From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: 26 September 2013 09:37
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] University Women Graduates of Marbella commented on the Discussion "E-discussion: Innovating for Girls' Education - WEEK ONE: Innovation in Education Infrastructure"

Voluntary Services Overseas
Tue, September 24, 2013 at 08.22 am

VSO Rwanda - I am sharing one innovative project sent
by the VSO Education Programme Manager in Rwanda, Ruth Mbabazi:

One initiative was on improving toilet facilities
in Nyagihunika school in Bugesera district- Rwanda to create a girl friendly
school environment improve on the hygiene and encourage girls to access a safe
place. In addition to VSO support, further funds also contributed to the big
project supported by other stakeholders and parents.

Results
were that:
The school now has 23 cubicles all
completed to a high standard. For the first time there is a dedicated suite of
toilets for girls, a shower for girls and a female disabled toilet. Water is
collected from the roof and fed into tanks thereby cutting the school’s
dependence on the external supply by approximately 90%. The latrines are now
ready for use. Stakeholders included teachers, parents, head teacher

Success is measured through:


  • Encouraging
    a greater number of girls to stay on at secondary level because the services
    provided for them are adequate.

  • Increasing
    the retention rate for girls by providing proper facilities.

  • Keeping
    girls on campus, thereby reducing absenteeism.

  • Providing
    greater awareness of female hygiene issues.

  • Raising
    levels of self-confidence and entitlement amongst female students

Sustainability:
The principal intention was to build a
separate toilet block and washroom for girls. The school is now in a position
to use nominated female members of staff, Mrs Mukamana for Primary and Mrs
Salima Miyingenera for Secondary to provide advice on hygiene and run a regular
girls’ club in consultation with the elected girl representative from each
class. Training will be provided for these colleagues. Nyagihunika is in
Musenyi sector,Bugesera district. The cluster of schools in this sector all
participate in regular school-based workshops facilitated by VSO. Monitoring
the progress of the project will form part of the regular visits to the school.
The project enjoys the strong support of the management body of the school, the
parents and the local community. The representative bodies of the school will monitor
the project’s sustainability and provide a record of its ongoing progress for
outside scrutiny.

Second
innovation:
Senstisation training on gender and
finding local solutions to girls absenteeism during menstruation period. The
major stakeholders included teachers, parents and head teachers and girls. The
area had high dropout rates and absenteeism due to the issue and it was not
being discussed openly with girls – there was no support. this was heavily
affecting the quality of education and the lives of young girls. Training
opened up discussion on how to support the girls; to consider gender in
planning and on monitoring the participation of concerned stakeholder.

Changes:
The changes noted in behaviour are that
the head teachers are now using the girls’ grant in the capitation grant for
the intended purpose. The girls are now focused as they have no reason to stay
at home because of menses. Girls’ rooms and clubs have been started successfully.

The target group which is girls has had a big
impact on the beneficiaries because the original problem of

absenteeism during school hours has been solved and girls are being more creative
in ways of maintaining themselves.

Ojonwa Deborah Miachi Youth advocate from Nigeria
Sun, September 22, 2013 at 10.57 pm

Hello all,

 

  1. School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) are an essential link between schools and the communities they serve. SBMCs are made up of a range of local people involved with their school. SBMCs work to increase communities’ involvement, including the involvement of children, with education, and to help improve the quality and effectiveness of schools. They provide a way of helping the education authorities to listen to what adults and children want from schools, and a way of increasing the contributions of everyone in the local area to making education work well.

In 2008, UKaid’s Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) developed a model based on state SBMC policy guidelines for helping the government and local CSOs to set up, train and support SBMCs to play a range of vital roles. This includes mobilizing resources, including funds, time and labour to improve schools; approaching government for funding and teachers; getting more children into school; and making sure schools were safer and more welcoming for children. Getting children and women’s concerns listened to was essential. So far, it is implemented in six states which include Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara and Lagos.

SBMCs have helped in increasing girls’ enrolment, retention and attendance via raising parents, awareness of girls’ right to education as well as the benefits of educating girls. SBMCs are doing this in different ways including:

  • Providing financial support to girls from poorer families to help with buying uniforms, etc
  • Providing informal evening or early morning classes
  • Building school facilities closer to villages
  • In Nigeria early marriage is common, even of girls as young as 11, so SBMCs advocate with parents to allow girls to stay in school until 15 or 16. They also advocate with parents for pregnant girls to be allowed back in school

 

2. ICT, Club and participation in other extra-curricular activities usually generate interest in learning and retention for girls because with these activities, they are given the chance to think outside the box and participate, experiment and apply what they have learnt in classrooms. Furthermore, the inclusive nature of SBMCs make it easy for parents/guardians to monitor and follow the progress of their children/ward’s performance and all things being equal, a girl child whose learning is being monitored by her parents/guardians tends to perform better.

 3. Gender balance needs to be ensured in SBMCs as well as leadership roles (e.g. prefects) and girls need to be taught their basic rights from home. A specific platform needs to bet set up for girls to know where to make complaints and enquiries regarding difficulties as regards to learning of which proactive measures have to be taken if a complaint is tendered. Mentoring programmes with professional women will be effective, especially if they get to act as pen pals with their mentors. Girls also need to be encouraged to contribute blogs and articles from an early start about their feelings as regards to academic and extracurricular activities they carry out in schools and this can only happen if girls have access to ICT.

 

 

SPED Youth Advocates
Sun, September 22, 2013 at 11.48 am

As youth, how can we address to these social problems? Here are our suggested solutions:

1. Bully-Free Environment

                Schools should impose a resolution prohibiting students from bullying other students no matter what the gender is. The resolution is to be signed by concerned school authorities and if fortunately signed by all necessary signatories it has to be implemented immediately. The learning environment should establish an atmosphere of acceptance, love, care and belongingness in order for the students to learn actively without fear. It was stated in one of the Principles of Learning that “The process of learning is intellectual as well as emotional”. Students learn best when they are not discriminated and when their emotional aspects aren’t disturbed.

 

2. Girls Empowerment

                Girls should be given the chance and accessibility to education. They must be given the right to speak out and to be heard. This may increase their strengths in different aspects as an individual in the community. I strongly believe that when girls are been empowered, certain problems that may come to them will be solved with ease.

 

3. Transportation

                A safe travel from house to school, vice versa. Schools can also create a program that provides transportation exclusive for girls. The said transportation can be used after classes for a safe and secure travel. Fear in going to school and going back to their houses will not be formed in every girl’s heart.

 

4. Homeschooling

                Education will be done in their respective houses. The quality of teaching must be provided for them. Being at home is much safer than being in school. But for me this idea has also some limitations. It doesn’t promote a holistic development of an individual. It’s like we are depriving them to interact and socialize with other learners like them. Their social aspects will not be fully developed.

 

5. Educating Values

                I guess this is necessary in order to avoid problems in gender inequality. Schools should not only focus on the teaching of numbers, colors, sentences or music; but schools should highly focus on inculcating values in every learner. I believe that the highest form of teaching is valuing. And true education is the development of the head, the heart and the arm. Boys should be educated with values and so as everybody. The result of valuing is creating an individual who are not abusive, oppressive; and an individual who won’t take advantage of the weak and innocent.

               

               

Savana Signatures
Sun, September 22, 2013 at 09.19 am

Savana Signatures (www.savsign.org) an ICT4D organization based in Northern Ghana with a focus on Using ICT for improvement in Education, Gender & Social Inclusion, Youth Empowerment and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. The organization has two very interesting programs that aims to promote Girls participation in ICTs and practically demonstrates how innovative solutions of these nature can help girls feel better equipped, more engaged and safer in accessing education and in their learning environments.

ICT Clinic for Girls

The ICT Clinic for Girls is an annual ICT Camp for Junior High School Girls that started in 2012. It brings together selected Junior High Schools Girls for a 5 day Camp. In 2012, the Camp was held for 10 days. This was however reviewed to 5 days in 2013. The Overall objective of the programme is to reduce gender inequalities by increasing women and girls’ ability to effectively use ICT tools. The programme’s Specific objectives is to improve enrolment and the performance of girls in the field of STME in secondary schools and at higher levels of education. At the camp, the girls are taken through daily ICT lessons and platforms to hold sessions with female roles models in the field of ICT. They are also taken on Study visits to institutions that make great use of Technology. This program has become an annual event and it is in plan to make it a National event.

Tech Girls Club

The Tech Girls Club is made up of 100 ten year old primary school girls who have been selected from 10 different schools across the Northern region of Ghana. Ten (10) of the girls are selected from each of the 10 schools.

The main idea behind this programme is to have children and youth recognize the value and importance of STME in today’s world and consider the pursuit of related fields a fun, interesting and rewarding option for their future.  It is also to empower them to use ICT skills to improve on their performance in school.

Presently, Savana Signatures is working with the Tech Girls to firm up their ICT skills and to assist them to use ICT tools to capture, package, store and disseminate content on health, sanitation, education, nutrition, child protection and harmful traditional practices. 

We have noticed that taking the children out of their normal classrooms makes them feel more and more relaxed and this settles their mind to learn and not regard the study of STME related themes as just another academic exercise.

The trainings are conducted during out of school hours with our Mobile Training Kit made up of 10 Laptops.

The Tech Girls Project started in 2012. This year, 10 Junior High School Girls have been selected to be part of the Tech Girls Programme but the 10 would be involved in studying basic computer programming.

The methodology in getting them appreciate STME is crucial! From our part of the world, based on our experience, specialized programs need to be organized for young girls to get them interested in STME. Resources of practice needs to be made readily available to them to practice and practice.

 

John Stephen Agbenyo

Executive Director

Savana Signatures

www.savsign.org   ****   www.facebook.com/savsign

steve@savsign.org

 

Community Education Services (CES) Canada
Sat, September 21, 2013 at 06.11 pm

“Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.”  African proverb

Bukhakunga is a rural village one hour’s drive northeast of Kakamega in Western Kenya. This community has a high rate of HIV infection, infant mortality and malaria. It also has a large number of AIDS orphans. It was there in 2006 I first met Metrine Mayende.

Metrine received a CES scholarship in 2006 and in 2008 she graduated from St. Patrick’s Bukhakunga SS with a B+ grade.  She was accepted at Kisumu Medical College and with help from ACCES (African Canadian Continuing Education Society), she graduated in 2011 as a Medical Health Officer. Matrine served as an intern at Kakamega General Hospital. In October 2012 she was qualified to practice as a medical officer, the equivalent of a GP here in Canada.  Matrine has excelled and has come a long ways from the days she joined the CES family as a total orphan.

The situation in Kenya is especially dire for women and girls.  When there are resources for one only, the school fees will go to a male.  Women work hard, yet they possess no property.  Girls too carry the added burden of carrying water and searching for firewood. They are often without money for education or personal care items like soap and sanitary pads.

Girls often don’t complete primary school due to lack of support, forced marriages and early pregnancies. Those that do continue their education are negatively impacted by low community expectations. Even those girls who complete secondary school with the financial support of their families do so at academic levels vastly inferior to their male peers. Yet, girls like Matrine are starting to change that trend.

There is a direct correlation between HIV rates and girls’ education. Girls are usually the first to be removed from school when a family member becomes ill with AIDS or dies. Girls that lack education are more likely to become infected with HIV, as sexual involvement with an older man is often the only way to support themselves and their families.

In some schools, girls may be forced to have sex with their male teachers to obtain funding for school or supplies. This dynamic forces girls as young as 12 to choose between dropping out of school due to lack of fees, thereby consigning themselves to early marriage and pregnancy.  Sadly it also means obtaining this funding at the risk of HIV infection. Choices come at great cost.

Gender disparities in education are unsettling from a human rights perspective. According to the UN Convention on Discrimination against Women, both genders should have equal access to education. CES Canada is committed to raising funds for girls’ scholarships.  CES has a gender equity policy where a minimum 50 % of students receiving scholarships are girls. CES is raising awareness in Kenya about the importance of girls’ education from both a development and human rights perspective.  Eight (8) out of 26 CES family of secondary schools are for girls only.

Lives are being transformed.  Girls can now study and learn without worrying about being removed for marriage or because their family won’t pay their school fees. Beyond academics, a CES scholarship means you get to eat three meals a day, learn in safety, sleep in a bed with a treated anti-malaria mosquito net, have clean drinking water, and access to health care when needed. For many girls it means being treated with respect for the first time. There is new hope that they can be doctors, nurses and businesswomen, and realize ambitions they have only dreamed of.

CES Canada has established the PAD initiative so that all girls receiving CES scholarships have access to the services of a nurse and community health care professional. After discussion on healthy living and basic education on the female anatomy, the girls are provided a year’s supply of sanitary pads.  The result is healthier more confident girls who can now attend school without fear or prejudice.

The World Bank reports that an extra year of secondary school boosts girls’ future wages by 15 to 25 percent. It has also been found that women and girls reinvest 90 percent of their earned wages into their families, with men investing only 30 to 40 percent. 

As for Matrine Mayende – her success story continues.  One day soon she will be in a position to help another youth attend school.  Education is the gift that keeps on giving.

The model is clear and the message is plain. For a community to be strengthened and its society to flourish, there must be equal opportunity for education for girls and boys. Barriers of gender, ethnicity, disability and economic means must be overcome. Empowered women graduate from secondary school and post secondary institutions. It all begins with education for all at the primary and secondary level with full acknowledgement by community leaders and governments that anything less than full participation in society by women is unacceptable.

 

Michael Frederiksen

President, CES canada

daniela burtoiu teacher from Romania
Fri, September 20, 2013 at 07.14 pm

My name is Daniela
It is a good debate topic. I think a sign of evolution is to accept education equally regardless of differences. I would enjoy anywhere in the world, girls'' to be just a letter difference!

Lal Manavado from
Tue, September 24, 2013 at 09.20 am
Vive la difference!
 
LM.
 



From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: 20 September 2013 21:28
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] daniela burtoiu teacher from Romania commented on the Discussion "E-discussion: Innovating for Girls' Education - WEEK ONE: Innovation in Education Infrastructure"

UNICEF - United Fund for Children
Fri, September 20, 2013 at 06.16 pm

Espacios seguros para las adolescentes indígenas en áreas rurales


Para alcanzar a las niñas y adolescentes más vulnerables es necesario diseñar programas específicamente dirigidos hacia ellas, pues en las intervenciones dirigidas a  jóvenes en general en los que en teoría  participan las niñas, en realidad no lo hacen; y los programas dirigidos a mujeres atienden generalmente a mujeres adultas y por tanto no responden a las necesidades específicas de las adolescentes en su etapa de transición entre la niñez y la vida adulta.


Por ello, el Programa Conjunto Saqilaj B’e (UNESCO,UNFPA,ONUMujeres,OPS, UNICEF) suma esfuerzos con organizaciones aliadas como  Population Council Guatemala para lograr que adolescentes indígenas de áreas rurales sean tomadas en cuenta y tengan mayores oportunidades de educación, salud y participación, en un contexto libre de violencia  La identificación de  espacios seguros de reunión periódica de los grupos comunitarios de adolescentes indígenas se convierte en un elemento clave de éxito en programas que, como éste, atienden a niñas adolescentes.


¿A qué nos referimos con espacios seguros? “Un espacio seguro es un lugar físico donde las niñas están a salvo de sufrir daños físicos, cuyo acceso es fácil y seguro para ellas. Es también un lugar que ofrece seguridad emocional, pues las niñas pueden reunirse regularmente con amigas de su edad y con el acompañamiento de una mentora  a quienes las niñas puedan pedir consejo” (Population Council, aliado del Sistema de Naciones Unidas en Guatemala para esta iniciativa)


La elección de los espacios seguros surge del consenso con las jóvenes y los líderes comunitarios. Antes de discutir sobre este aspecto y tomar la decisión, el Programa Conjunto, a través de su socio local Population Council, promueve la elaboración de un mapeo comunitario. El mapeo es elaborado por medio de un sistema de georeferencia que permite diagnosticar la geografía comunitaria y la ubicación de los servicios  sociales como la escuela, la clínica, el puesto de policía, etc. La aplicación de herramientas  para explorar la seguridad,  permite identificar los espacios seguros y los espacios inseguros de la comunidad teniendo en cuenta la hora del día, la estación del año, los días de la semana, la prevalencia de situaciones de abuso contras las niñas en ubicaciones específicas como por ejemplo, áreas de poca visibilidad pública o espacios próximos a establecimientos de venta o consumo de alcohol.


-----------------------


Para más información sobre los espacios seguros y las herramientas para elaboración de mapeos comunitarios, visita:  http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/2011PGY_AdolGirlToolkit_es.pdf


 

Latoya Wilson from United States of America
Fri, September 20, 2013 at 01.44 pm

My name is Latoya Wilson and I am a founder of Rebuild Workforce Project

1) From my experience, I witnessed several organizations, in NYC, that allow volunteers to teach k-12 students about how education is critical for career success and financial literacy. Most volunteers are professionals, therefore, can connect students to job shadowing opportunities. Obviously, Girls have equal access to these programs, but there is a campaign that will increase their representation in STEM careers.

What I will like to see is more professionals mentoring youth, especially girls, by providing them internships and job shadowing opportunities. Schools, in US, teach kids from a textbook standpoint, however, students are not put in the environment where they can connect what they learn into the real world. That's why our drop out and remedial rate is significant because our youth won't know how to make effective decisions about their careers.

Private businesses should definitely play a role, since they are the biggest employers that can contribute significantly, which can offset some of those costs.

2) For girls, increasing professional women mentors can increase enthusiasm in young girls in following footsteps into these careers.

3) the interesting thing about US is that women are increasing in their presents of the labormarket more than men. So there is a huge cry for mentors for young boys. However, women must continue to increase their participation in the decision making process. It will take their voice to ensure that they receive access to reources.

Lal Manavado from
Tue, September 24, 2013 at 01.00 pm
Importance of considering what sort of job to take up.
 
My remarks may seem obvious at the first glance. When one asks the question, what sort of jobs one should keep in mind, it begs two other questions.
 
1. The wholely personal question, what possibilities do I have in getting it?
 
2. What consequences performing that particular job would have on the world has a whole, and on myself?
 
Regardless of the sex of children, the first question is the one that seems to receive all the attention. It isolates working from its consequences to the world and to oneself. This reductive thinking have grave consequences, not only to the individual, but to our very environment.
 
A cursory glance at the statistics related to the mental and physical ill health brought about by 'work related stress' in affluent societies, is sober reading indeed.
 
The cultural impoverishment of the individual dedicated to a 'jobocentric' education needsno elaboration. Do please forgive the horrid name I have invented to describe the cause of an even more horrid effect.
 
Apart from a very few exceptions, employment today can be seen as activities that drive the traditional economy, or activities that enable people to participate in it. Put differently, either to produce/provide, or to consume.
 
But, the traditional economy is concerned with increasing gain by encouraging production irrespective of the social inequities  it will bring about, and of its grave effects on our environment.
 
Hence, it is crucial that we learn to think of a holistic education, which inculcates into everybody the vital importance of everybody elses' well being as well as that of our environment as necessary conditions for the individual's own well being.
 
We often boast of our scientific advances, but, let us recall that just one and half a century ago, the greatest scientists believed that mice could 'arise' from rags and bits of cheese in kept in a box! Let us not forget also the Virchow, father of modern Pathology burst into scornful laughter when Ignatz Semmelweiss suggested that when medical students attending to women at labour washed their hands with a weak solution of Calcium Hypochlorite, which is an antiseptic, incidence of post-partum infections among the mothers dropped drastically. Semmelweiss was laughed out into a provincial town, and many mothers had to pay with their lives the price of the professional laughter  for decades more, until Lister re-discovered the principles of antisepsis.
 
 
But, there is only one mother nature, and  her death or ill health entails the same for all her children. This should be the foundation on which education ought to be built.
 
Lal Manavado.
 


From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: 20 September 2013 15:46
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] Latoya Wilson from United States of America commented on the Discussion "E-discussion: Innovating for Girls' Education - WEEK ONE: Innovation in Education Infrastructure"

Lal Manavado An analyst from Norway
Fri, September 20, 2013 at 11.54 am

A few general observations


 


There is fairly wide-spread agreement on the benefits of education. Other things being equal, lack of educational facilities with competent teachers  is the greatest difficulty children of both sexes encounter in many areas of the world. Here, I use the term 'competent teachers' deliberately, so that it becomes clear that some children in even affluent countries  receive only a travesty of an education.


 


But we know, we cannot consider 'other things to be equal'. This is due to two main reasons:


i. Cultural restrictions on girls' behaviour


II. Abject poverty that denies children time for education by forcing them to labour.


 


Dealing with cultural restrictions is not a trivial task that could be achieved by legislation. It is a task that would take time and a subtle humane approach that would cause least offense to deep rooted monolithic sensibilities.


 


Fortunately, the second difficulty is more ameanable to a solution.


 


A possible approach would involve an education programme integrated into what may emerge as a programme of amelioration of poverty, which is under discussion in a sister forum.


 


Lal Manavado.


 

Bertheline Nina Tchangoue
Fri, September 20, 2013 at 08.23 am

 Today I will like to merely focus on question 1 of this e-discussion hoping that by the end of this week discussion on Sunday 22nd, I will contribute to the last two questions:

Within the framework of the National Education Strategic Plan and the Millennium Development Goals, UNICEF with government partners and NGOs are actively prompting girls’ Education in Cameroon and have contributed to the following achievements:

-The National Plan of Action on Education for All (EFA) includes an objective in favour of equal access of girls to quality basic education.

 - Primary education is now free and investment in education has started to increase.

 - A National Policy Statement on early childhood care that recognizes non-formal education has been prepared and a community-based pre-school education programme signed to support early stimulation and learning for 3-5 year-old children.

 - The Child-Friendly, Girl-Friendly School concept is being implemented successfully in 300 schools and has contributed to an increase in enrolment and a decrease in dropout rates.

 -Food for Education project that encourages the cultivation of school gardens and the improvement of student nutrition. 

- The US Ambassador’s Girls Scholarship Program, through which 7,000 scholarships were provided to Cameroonian girls and boys at the primary, secondary, and university levels since 2004. American Peace Corps volunteers are also engaged in educational programs around the country and have joined UNICEF in some of its activities.

-A National Campaign on Girls Education (SCOFI) was initiated since 2006 to promote girls education and their full enrolment in school

-Plan Cameroon launched its Learn Without Fear campaign and Safer Schools to respectively stop violence in schools and to ensure that children acquire basic learning and life skills to realize their full potential in a violence-free school environment.

Bertheline Nina Tchangoue

Member of UN Global Education First-Youth Advocacy Group(GEFI-YAG)

Founder/Coordinator Synergies of Actions for Development and Education for All (SADEA)

Tina Robiolle-Moul PhD candidate from United States of America
Fri, September 20, 2013 at 02.00 am

Thank you very much for initiating this important discussion!

You may want to look into the "Girl friendly" schools tested in Burkina Faso, an interesting school construction program that was combined with incentives for children to attend school and a mechanism for mobilizing community support for education in general and for girls’ education in particular.

The Burkinabé Response to Improve Girls’ Chances to Succeed (BRIGHT) School Construction Program seems to demonstrate positive results on learning outcomes and enrollment (with higher results for the enrollment of girls). The program was financed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation and implemented by a consortium of nongovernmental organizations under the supervision of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

An impact evaluation was conducted by a team who published their results in this article:
Harounan Kazianga & Dan Levy & Leigh L. Linden & Matt Sloan. "The Effects of "Girl-Friendly" Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso," in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 41-62, (July 2013). Available here: http://www.leighlinden.com/BRIGHT_Schools.pdf

"Along with school construction, the program provided incentives to children to attend school and a mechanism for mobilizing community support for education in general and for girls’ education in particular... The schools included many amenities that are not common in public elementary schools in Burkina Faso, especially in the rural areas. The prototype school included three classrooms, housing for three teachers, separate latrines for boys and girls, and a borehole equipped with a manual pump that served as a source of clean water. The construction also included two multipurpose halls, one office, and one storage room. All program schools were equipped with student desks, teacher desks, chairs, and metal bookshelves as well as a playground." (Kazianga et al., 2013, p. 44)  

 

Alicia Hammond Independent Gender and Development Consultant from Jamaica
Sat, September 21, 2013 at 05.22 pm

Hi Tina,

Thanks for sharing! BRIGHT's bundle of interventions are quite interesting, particularly housing for teachers and take home rations conditional on school attendance. The program seems to address several issues that often keep girls out of school in the developing world. An increase of 19 percentage points is fantastic, I'll definitely explore this more.

BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT
Thu, September 19, 2013 at 06.40 pm

Focus on top jobs for women 

hafid zakariya Internet for girl from Indonesia
Thu, September 19, 2013 at 02.38 am

Internet School is solution for girl student

My name Hafid Zakariya.SH.MH lecture in STIA Setih Setio Muara Bungo Jambi Indonesia, if I look in my country internet can see in the school particularly in city. I think internet can open intelectual for student and I thing internet can make comunication whit many people around the world. I hope Internationaly community can help to sosialitation urgent internet for girl. tanks (sglfh@yahoo.com)

Kamfisht Universe Engineering
Fri, September 20, 2013 at 06.30 pm
 
Thanks for your observation. As a whole Internet is a  vast sector of all types of resources both positive and negative. We have to learn and practice how to bring this asset to utilize for education and innovation. If girls can do that , it will increase their social dignity because society will remember them for thier innovative contribution.  We have to inspire girls firstly to findout problems surrounding them, and let them provide scopes to bring out solution using internet beside manual education. Innovative girls for inventing positive any thing for humanity should be prised to be model to others.   
victor briaunys from Brazil
Thu, September 19, 2013 at 11.50 am

Perfect, this is the way, how can we continue this project?

Edwin Zuidema Education Management adviser from Cambodia
Thu, September 19, 2013 at 01.50 am

Dear members,

Many children in Cambodia can’t go to school because of their gender or because they have to work to support their families. VSO Cambodia has been working in Cambodia for the last 20 years supporting education development and helping raise awareness of these issues. But where do we draw the line between cultural awareness/sensitivity and advocating for change? And more importantly, how do we involve children in this dynamic and culturally sensitive discussion without imposing our ideas and opinions?

With this in mind, VSO Cambodia thought of something that was culturally sensitive and critical at the same time, but also child-friendly and creative. VSO wanted to do something that allowed the children to make up their own minds about gender, poverty, environment and other issues, but more importantly something that was just plain fun!

Last year, VSO Cambodia created a booklet for over 350 students of eight target schools in Mondolkiri, province. Students aged between 10-12 years old, read about Socheat, Kanika, Lida and Satya, four fictional children who can’t go to school because of their gender or because they are poor.

Socheat has to collect resin in the forest to make money to support his family. Kanika has to stay at the house and take care of her younger brothers and sisters while her parents work at the farm. Lida sells postcards at the Angkor Wat temples to make a living and Satya collects cans to earn some extra money for his family.

The booklet tells how the spirits of the forest and the spirit of the river hear the complaints of the children. The spirits decide to teach all children in the country about the difficulties that they might face as a boy or a girl and switches the gender of all children for one day to teach them a lesson.

After reading the stories and answering questions in the booklet, students were asked to write their own story and make a drawing to go with it. What would they do if they were Socheat, Kanika, Lida or Socheat? How would their life be different if they were changed into a boy or a girl for one day? Together with the teachers, we selected the best stories for each school and gave awards to the winning authors.

 

After reading the children’s stories and looking at their drawings, VSO realised that many students faced similar problems themselves or knew someone who faced the same difficulties and decided to publish the best stories in a storybook called The Spirits of Change, so that other children could read these incredible stories, thoughts and discuss the issue too.

 

This year more than 1,800 students from Stung Treng, Bantey Meanchey, Kratie and Mondulkiri province took part. Again, VSO selected the best stories and published them in the second edition of The Spirits of Change.

VSO Cambodia distributed both editions of the story book to the 18 participating schools. The winning writers all got their own copy. VSO also developed a lesson plan to accompany the books so teachers and children can discuss gender issues in a playful and fun way.

These children might be the future ambassadors of change for Cambodia and we hope The Spirits of Change will inspire them to support gender equality when they’re older.

 

The Spirits of Change Second Edition (English)

The Spirits of Change Second Edition (Khmer)

 

Adaptation of a VSO blog about the 'Spirit of Change' project: http://blogs.vsointernational.org/index.php/2013/07/18/using-creativity-to-promote-gender-equality-in-schools-cambodia/

Vanessa Beary Founder and CEO from United States of America
Wed, September 18, 2013 at 05.08 pm

Hello all and welcome to the discussion on Innovating for Girls' Education.  Thank you for taking the time to visit this site and contribute to the vision of the world that we want in 2015.

My name is Vanessa Beary and I am excited to be one of the co-moderators of this forum.  I am Founder and CEO of Entrepreneurial Lab and am finishing up my doctorate at Harvard Graduate School of Education.  I am very interested in the intersection of youth entrepreneurship education programs and 21st century skill development, and the implications for such programs in low-income countries. 

My dissertation focuses on the effects of a short-term entrepreneurship education intervention for youths in northern Tajikistan.  Specifically I examine the effect of this program on students' entrepreneurial attitudes, intentions, and actions.  I also investigate whether these effects differ by gender, age, and marital status.  My dissertation work was made possible by the generous support of the Fulbright Program, Harvard University, and the Kauffman Foundation.

I concevied of the idea for Entrepreneurial Lab during my time conducting fieldwork in Tajikistan.  Using a combination of low-cost technology (eReaders, Raspberry Pis, and the sneakernet), we join the “offline learning revolution” to provide high-potential young women access to a curated entrepreneurship education program.  To commemorate International Day of the Girl, Entrepreneurial Lab is kicking off it's first international pilot in Isfara, Tajikistan on October 11th.  Our goal is to equip young girls with entrepreneurial skills that have direct application to their personal lives. 

I look forward to sharing more about the way in which Entrepreneurial Lab leverages technology to empower young women around the world.  I also look forward to reading and responding to the insights, best practices, and key learnings that you will share with us over the course of this week.

hafid zakariya Program In indonesia from Indonesia
Thu, September 19, 2013 at 02.51 am

hello vannesa. haw are you ? my name hafid zakariya from indonesia, I am interest your effort for build interpenership in tajikistan. if can I learn with you, you can share your idea in my email.

thank you

from hafid zakariya

Rafael Barrio Human Resource public administration from Spain
Wed, September 18, 2013 at 01.12 pm

Dear  memebers
Hello everyone and congratulations to the organizers for an very interesting proposal to exchange ideas and opinions on a subject as important as Innovating for Girls' Education. This topic made ​​me remember a descriptive study, individual level, I conducted a  some years ago with the aim of identifying stereotypes and biases, in magazines that are currently distributed through kiosks   and miscellaneous electronic formats which target audience, commercially speaking, it is the woman and teenagers. So I think that innovation also lies in avoiding in schools and in the media such stereotypes and gender biases


For this reason, it is a pleasure for me to share with you all this little field work


Best  regards
Rafa


 

nagarjun thota Doctor, Andhra Pradesh. India from India
Wed, September 18, 2013 at 12.00 am

I am a common man with a curiosity and interest for change in our society. I have a thought, an idea regarding improvising education. In country like India social change is not possible if people are haunted by daily problem of making two ends meet. In my amateur observations I learned that people either from urban or rural setup go in a way which is beneficial and easy to them then frame set of rules and follow them mostly not thinking of any new things. In this aspect a family which has no knowledge about benefits of girl education would not proceed even they are supplied with infrastructure and various schemes. Its like tree of government develops fruits and provides a stool/ladder but beneficiary doesn't have knowledge what to do with stool/ladder. At the same time as parents of family are illiterates/not educated, confused of what is the purpose of girl education.

I got a thought that an indirect approach of bringing awareness on girl education/ education on whole by educating family. I mean by showing parents a direct benefit by attracting them through training them in work skills such that they can earn more and in training citing examples of female ideals, about technology, about health aspects. It will be like upgrading family by which it will be increasing capability of family implies society rather making them lazy giving banana peeled to their mouth. According to above cited example of tree ,fruit and stool/ladder it is like giving knowledge of using stool/ladder is enough he will reach the fruit by himself rather plucking and providing fruit for him.

This concept of increasing capability of family covers a broad spectrum of things like child labour, poverty, literacy, even health aspects like hospitalized deliveries rather consulting dais, nutritional aspects, it also increases availability of various welfare schemes to remote. So it will be a good adjuvant for existing schemes and investing in educating families/ upgrading families will be of no waste.

courtesy to history of my country from where the idea of increasing capability of family is born.

Nelson Gomonda Programme Manager from Senegal
Tue, September 17, 2013 at 11.17 pm

WaterAid has published very interesting papers including one linking WASH, children and young people (attached) as part of its Post 2015 advocacy resources.

As can be seen from the paper, safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are crucial for all, but inadequate WASH has a particular impact on children and young people. In addition to the direct effect on health, there are wider impacts on education and wellbeing, for girls in particular. The importance of increasing investment in WASH, and improving coordination across sectors, to secure a better future for the next generation, is clear.

It is clear from the publication that the failure to achieve the MDG sanitation target has held back progress on associated MDG targets relating to child and maternal health, and inadequate WASH continues to constrain early years development and the subsequent life chances of young people born in developing countries.

Child’s right to water, sanitation and hygiene remains a major challenge for policy makers,
school administrators and communities in many countries. Although steady progress has been made to safeguard the wellbeing of schoolchildren, almost half of all schools in low-income countries still lack water and sanitation facilities.

With all this in mind and many other issues covered in the publication (see attachement), it is important that WASH is prioritised in our calls and messages. With specific reference to children and youth, this would include the following:

  • Integrating WASH into health and nutrition goals, to ensure that the third largest killer of children in Sub-Saharan Africa (diarrhoea) is tackled.
  • Ensure that any goals aimed at improving levels of participation in education include measures of WASH in schools as an indicator.
  • Ensuring that goals and targets for WASH go beyond the household and include schools, health facilities and workplaces.
  • Ensure that all goals and targets include an explicit focus on progressively eliminating inequalities between the general population and disadvantaged groups, including children and young people.
David Crone Moderator, GEFI-YAG Member and Advocate/Advisor for Plan International from United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Tue, September 17, 2013 at 08.59 pm

Friends, I am delighted to be able to co-moderate this exciting and important e-discussion on Innovation for Girls' Education as part of the observance for International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October. My name is David Crone, a child rights advocate, youth advisor and member of the United Nations Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group. I am particularly passionate about and interested in girls rights and gender sensitivity, education and youh representation, and work with Plan International on its advocacy work.

This is a great opportunity to be able to share best practice, have insightful conversations about innovation and to consider the difference that education can make to the lives of girls. Children have the right to a quality, fit-for-purpose infrastructure and a safe, productive and professional environment in which they can learn and thrive. I am very much looking forward to reading about your experience, knowledge and any case studies you might have which can help us to make this right a reality and help all girls fulfill their potential.

Findings and particularly interesting examples will not only be shared online through blog posts, but will also feed in to an online publication to be released on International Day of the Girl. I hope this is an excellent opportunity to work collaboratively as a community to find solutions and to help raise awareness for the cause.

victor briaunys from Brazil
Wed, September 18, 2013 at 07.07 pm

Congratulations, David Crone, this super important and rewarding work, I volunteer with children with mental deficiency, talk about, congratulations for the initiative ... \ o / ...

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