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Global development voices: Africa's teachers | Global development | guardian.co.uk - 0 views

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    Eight teachers tell us about the progress of education in their country, what they see as the biggest challenges for African teachers and students - and their hopes for the future 
Teachers Without Borders

allAfrica.com: Ghana: 129 Girls Benefit From WFP Scholarship - 0 views

  • A total of 129 Senor High School girls, from the three Northern Regions, are to benefit from a GHc 74,000 scholarship scheme to guard against school drop-out.

    The World Food Programme and the Ghana Health Service Girls Project seek to support the less privileged girls, who attained the aggregate 06 to 16 in the 2010 Basic Education Certificate Examination.

  • As part of the programme she said, girls who attended school of a minimum of 85 percent of the month were rewarded with a take-home food package of cereal, vegetable oil and iodized salt.
  • "We at WFP are proud of the success of the girl child education programmes, but we are equally wary of challenges, including inadequate classroom, high teacher pupil ration, floods and drought, which could slow down the nation's quest to achieve MDG two," he said.
Teachers Without Borders

allAfrica.com: Ghana: School-Going Children Still At Home - From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale - 0 views

  • In spite of numerous interventions by governments to ensure quality basic education for all Ghanaian children, the majority of children of school-going age in some parts of the Northern Region are still not in school.
  • Against this backdrop, the Right To Play, a child-centered international non-governmental organisation (NGO) operating in the three northern regions, has taken steps to ensure that all children of school-going age in their operational areas are enrolled in school.
  • The Right To Play, currently, operates in about 50 communities in four districts in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. The NGO is using all forms of play activities including drama, talent hunt and football competitions to effect changes in the behaviour and development of its target groups.
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  • The Northern File gathered that young girls in the Tingoli community see early marriage as the surest way of removing themselves and their parents from poverty, to the total neglect of their education.
Teachers Without Borders

Educate the Girl, Empower the Woman - IPS ipsnews.net - 0 views

  • Picture a mother, hunching over a field with a Medieval-style hoe in hand, spending day after day tilling the soil under a beating hot sun - only to retire home to care for her family without electricity or running water.

    This is not a 12th century image, but a typical working day for scores of rural women in today's developing world, where lack of access to education and technology has forced many to resort to traditional and often painful methods of livelihood.
  • Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF), a pan- African network bringing together individuals and organisations from 23 countries, is among the key regional groups tackling this issue head on.

    WILDAF believes lack of knowledge about education rights, specifically among young girls, is one of the main reasons forcing rural people to endure lives of agricultural hardship.
  • "We want to teach them how to develop projects, from tilling the ground to seeding, all the way through to packaging at an international level so the food will be accepted by everybody in other countries," she said.

    Agu cited a project where female farmers of moringa – a nutritious African plant – were able to increase the efficiency and ease of production, through simple modern conveniences.
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  • Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi, executive director of the Women's Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) and board member of WILDAF, said educating girls with both formal and practical education was key to addressing the gender imbalances and breaking the cycle of poverty.

    "When a women is empowered and she can assert her rights in the community she can rise up to any position and be part of decision making and raise the status of women," Olateru- Olagbegi said.
  • Although enrolment levels have risen in many developing countries since 2000, UNICEF estimated there were still more than 100 million children out of school in 2008, 52 percent of them girls and the majority living in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Subsequently there has been a measurable increase in girls attending school, a trend that has led to fewer early marriages and teenage pregnancies as well as a reduction in the number of youths who are trafficked and prostituted.

    In spite of the gains, however, girls are still largely underrepresented in the science and technology fields.

    "Even when girls go to school there is a bias that girls are not supposed to learn science and technology; they're still doing the social sciences and humanities," Olateru-Olagbegi said. "They don't think that the faculties of girls are developed enough and it's mere discrimination."
Teachers Without Borders

allAfrica.com: Ghana: Karaga Parents Refuse to Send Girls to School - 0 views

  • According to Madam Fatima, most of the Muslim parents, in spite of the Capitation Grant, School Feeding and supply of free school uniforms and exercise books by the government, still prefer to send their children to the farms, or allow them to travel down south for menial jobs such as 'Kayayei', rather than send them to school.
  • schools in the Karaga District continued to record low female enrollment every academic year, more especially, the Islamic schools.

    Citing her school, which is also an Islamic school as an example, Madam Fatima described it as being "highly unacceptable" to see a school with a population of 700, with only 200 females.

    Out of the 523 pupils at the primary level, only 160 are girls, and at Junior High 1 and 2, only 21 are females out of 134 pupils.

  • Madam Fatima told The Chronicle that even though the Karaga District Education Directorate and the District Assembly had over the years embarked on sensitisation campaigns to encourage parents and even traditional rulers to push their female wards to school, something positive was yet to come out it.
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    She indicated that the majority of the parents were of the view that the education of girls was irrelevant, since a woman would eventually end up in a man's house as a wife, no matter the successes she achieves in education.
Teachers Without Borders

Ghanaian Teachers Discuss Computer Use at ICT Forum - International Institute for Commu... - 0 views

  • One of the things that came up during the meeting is that it is hard to find qualified tutors to teach ICT in primary schools.
Teachers Without Borders

allAfrica.com: Ghana: Pay Attention to Water and Sanitation in Schools - 0 views

  • Indeed, there is consensus that no strategy for poverty reduction and development can ignore humanity's need for water and sanitation.
  • While there are specific MDGs relating to water and sanitation, it is an indisputable fact that the achievement of all other MDGs are dependent on access to clean water and improved sanitation facilities.
  • At Ashaiman alone, 2,015 children, each bearing a plastic drinking cup, formed a 2,015-people queue to remind duty bearers of the 2015 deadline for the meeting of the MDGs on water and sanitation.
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  • The joining of the queue by the school children underscored the fact that many a child does not have access to clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene facilities. Thus, they made this legitimate call: "'Please Give Us Basic Sanitation & Clean Water NOW' because as you all know, the child cannot wait."
  • Today, it is estimated that 4,000 children across the globe die everyday because they have no access to safe sanitation and clean water. Besides, a total of 2.5 billion people across the world still have to wait in queues for their turn to exercise their right to use a safe and dignified toilet.
Teachers Without Borders

BBC News - In pictures: Ghana's market girls - the Kayayo - 0 views

Teachers Without Borders

What is a girl worth? | Education | The Guardian - 0 views

  • On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12-year-old Abigail Appetey is forced to miss her classes at primary school to sell fried fish door-to-door in Apimsu, her farming village in eastern Ghana. She gets up at 5am to buy the fish three miles away.

    The little she earns won't go on the exercise books she needs; her parents will spend it on her 20-year-old brother Joseph's education. Abigail wants to be a teacher, she says, but is always tired in class.

    There are 41 million girls around the world who should be in primary school all week, but aren't, the Department for International Development says. At least 20 million of them are, like Abigail, in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • In Ghana, 91% of boys, but only 79% of girls finish primary school.
  • Here in Asesewa – one of Ghana's poorest districts – Abigail's nearest junior high school has just five girls out of 20 pupils in its most senior class. The school improvement plan is torn, written in felt tip and peeling from a wall in a corridor. It is the middle of the dry season and temperatures can reach 31C, but the school's tap is empty and the toilets don't work. The most the school seems to have is a few exercise and textbooks that look as though they date back to the 1950s.

    The average income for Asesewa's population of 90,000 is between £11 and £14 a month, according to the international charity Plan, which has a base here.

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  • But what these under-tree schools can't match in cash and facilities, they more than make up for in initiative. Word about the girls' football club here in Asesewa has even reached the MPs in Accra, Ghana's capital. Football is a passion for Ghanaians of both sexes and the club only allows girls who are at school or on vocational courses to play. Clever girls, who have dropped out of school through lack of funds, are awarded scholarships, funded by Plan, to return to class and allowed to join one of the 25 teams.
  • Ministers in the Ghanaian government abolished fees for primary education in 2005 and boast that they spend the equivalent of £6 in state funds on each primary pupil every year. But parents must pay for exercise books, school uniforms and exams.

    It is these hidden costs – which can amount to more than £100 per child per year – that dissuade many from sending their girls to school, says Joseph Appiah, Plan's chief fieldworker in Asesewa.

    Besides, the value of an educated girl is lower than that of an educated boy. "The feeling is that girls will marry and belong to another family; boys bring back what they make to their parents," Appiah says.

    And, in these rural communities, girls are needed at home. From as young as seven they can be expected to prepare breakfast and lunch for their parents, take it to them in the fields and cook a hot dinner in the evenings. Many will also have to fetch water from several kilometres away and sell what they can to supplement their family's meagre income. That leaves little time for lessons

  • The club started only three years ago, but is already thought to have boosted girls' school enrolments in some villages by 15%. It may have been just the catalyst needed to change attitudes – and to change them more quickly than the MPs expect.
  • At Akateng primary school and junior high, not far from Abigail's village, boys and girls have just put on a play they have written about the shortsightedness of parents who deprive girls of school. Among those watching it were the real leaders of these rural communities – the "kings" and "queens". These are highly respected elders who have been selected to preside over villages and keep their traditions going.

    Sitting on a raised platform, with brightly patterned yellow fabric draped over one shoulder, Kwuke Ngua, one of the kings, tells how attitudes are changing. "We used to think women were not destined for education, but now we believe it does them well," he says. "They have more skills, which they can bring to the community. All girls should go to school." One of the queens, Mannye Narteki, goes even further: "Girls can no longer fit into working society unless they are educated," she says.

  • Just one extra year of full-time primary school can boost a girl's eventual wages by 10% to 20% in sub-Saharan Africa, charities say. An extra year of secondary school can make a difference of 25%.

    Educated and empowered girls, like those on the football teams, are far more likely to get involved in community decision-making and drive progress of all kinds in their villages and beyond.

Teachers Without Borders

Literacy Bridge - 0 views

  • The Talking Book is a low cost audio computer that shares knowledge and improves literacy. 

    It is helping impoverished rural families learn to prevent disease and improve their crops.

    In overcrowded classrooms, children use it to learn from interactive literacy lessons.

Teachers Without Borders

A Talking Book for Africa | A World Bank Blog on ICT use in Education - 1 views

  • The 'Talking Book' is a low-cost audio device device with recording capabilities -- imagine a rubbery MP3 player about the size of a grapefuit -- rather ingeniously engineered (and re-engineered) to meet specific needs and usage scenarios in very poor communities in Africa.  It is designed for use in local languages, using locally produced content, as tool to promote literacy among primary school children (to cite just one goal and target group). One way to think of the device, Cliff said, is as a  'small portable computer without a display'.  While the project is still in its pilot stages, it is notable for its express interest in investigating solutions that are low cost and scalable from the beginning, and in rigorously monitoring and evaluating the impact of its interventions.
  • Literacy Bridge began, he said, with the idea that the most effective approach towards ending global poverty requires empowering people with better access to knowledge, and that those in greatest need are impeded by illiteracy, disability, and inadequate infrastructure. (Here's video from a talk Cliff gave at Google about the project's goals and approach to development.) The project is operationally very lean, supported financially by hundreds of individual donations and by thousands of volunteer hours. 
  • I have never heard a presentation from a project proponent about the development of an ICT device (of whatever sort) meant to be used by poor people that contained so many comments like what I heard from Cliff: "our users told us"; "we learned from our users that ..."; "what we found out when speaking with and observing our users caused us to radically change how we were thinking, and so we re-designed ..." etc.  The iterative, user-centric design process the Literacy Bridge has been engaged in to develop the Talking Book stands in stark contrast to that demonstrated by most (almost all?) of the 'ICT for development' initiatives in the education sector that come through our offices here at the World Bank. 
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