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Education Week: International Initiatives Fuel Growth of Open Ed. Content - 1 views

Teachers Without Borders

How cycling set deprived Indian girls on a life-long journey | Bike blog | Environment ... - 0 views

  • In Bihar, one of India's poorest and most populous states, half of the women and a quarter of the men are illiterate, and about 90% of its 104 million inhabitants live in rural areas. Life here is particularly difficult for girls, and one of the greatest hindrances to their development is the simple journey to school. For many, the trip is long, expensive and dangerous.

    But here, in rural Bihar, we recently saw that a two-wheeled solution to the problem has been found.

    Three years ago the state's new chief minister Nitish Kumar adopted a "gender agenda" and set about redressing his state's endemic gender imbalances in an attempt to boost development in one of India's most backward states. His vision was to bring a sense of independence and purpose to his state's young women, and the flagship initiative of this agenda is the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna, a project that gives schoolgirls 2,000 rupees (about £25) to purchase a bicycle.

  • 871,000 schoolgirls have taken to the saddle as a result of the scheme. The number of girls dropping out of school has fallen and the number of girls enrolling has risen from 160,000 in 2006-2007 to 490,000 now.
  • Girls like Pinki Kumari (15), a student from the high school in Desari, previously had 14km round trip each day. When she got back home, she would have to help her mother with daily chores. "At the end of the day, it became tiring and attending school became a ritual. I hardly got any time to study,"
Teachers Without Borders

200,000 Somali children could drop out of school | United Nations Radio - 0 views

  • An assessment conducted by UNICEF and its partners in 10 regions of South and Central Somalia looked at the impact the drought and famine will have on education.

    The assessment also indicated that in Lower and Middle Juba and Bay regions, as many as half of all teachers may not return to their classrooms when schools re-open.

  • Since the declaration of famine in Somalia however, there has been no new funding for education.

Teachers Without Borders

China to offer compulsory education to 95 percent of girls - 0 views

    BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- An official document released on Monday pledged that the government will endeavor to provide compulsory education to 95 percent of Chinese girls over the next ten years.

    The Outline for the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020) issued by the State Council, or China's cabinet, said that the government will continue to promote equal opportunity for nine years of free schooling for all children, but especially for girls, who are more likely to drop out.
Teachers Without Borders Rwanda: More Than Building Schools - Access to Affordable Sanitary Pads ... - 1 views

  • How can countries encourage girls to attend school? Is the answer providing free textbooks or building schools closer to their homes? While these are important pieces of the puzzle, there is another issue that influences whether girls attend school: menstruation.
  • According to the United Nations Children's Fund, one in 10 African girls stays home during menses or drops out of school. In many cases, girls do not have access to affordable sanitary pads, and social taboos against discussing menstruation compound the problem.
  • Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) in 2007 to address this problem. SHE works in Rwanda with its she28 campaign to develop an affordable and eco-friendly pad made from banana stem fibers so that girls can attend school unimpeded by worries over their menses.
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  • Not only is SHE working to help girls attend school during menses, but also the group is taking a market-based approach to boost local businesses in Rwanda. SHE plans to sell its more-affordable pads to local entrepreneurs, focusing on women sellers.
  • However, after talking to local girls, the SHE staff realized that the girls wanted health and hygiene education as well. In response, SHE has trained more than 50 community health and hygiene education workers, reaching some 5,000 Rwandans, according to Camacho.
  • SHE's work in Rwanda shows that a comprehensive approach is needed to expand women and girls' educational opportunities. "Women and girls are often left behind because of some of these silent issues," Camacho explains. "We need to approach women and girls' education in a holistic way."
    Would SHE be interested in getting its health and hygiene education materials into the Sugar Labs program for Replacing Textbooks, as a Free OER to be provided with OLPC XO laptops as Rwanda rolls them out? We would be interested in whatever they have in Kinyarwanda, French, or English, and would then offer them for translation to be used in other countries.
Teachers Without Borders Uganda: Rethink Archaic Education System - 0 views

  • For many pupils and parents, the dreams of joining the so-called best schools have been shattered because they did not score the required points. Now, they must fight tooth-and-nail to find a place in other schools.
  • At the root of all this is an archaic colonial education system, which no longer has a place in our situation today. In developed countries, an exam-based education system for primary pupils has long been abandoned.
  • promotion to secondary school should be on the basis of continuous assessment. Also, let the government increase capital expenditure to secondary schools. Most schools have the space to expand their facilities but they lack capital. As the number and the performance of pupils continue to increase every year, the facilities should be able to increase at the same pace.
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