The strategies that follow, whether working
from inside or outside the classroom, have
been proven to increase school attendance and
completion by girls. Each promotes in its own
way the model of a school that seeks to ensure
effective learning in safe, healthy gendersensitive
and child-centred environments
(see A child-friendly school on page 8).
No country could implement all of these strategies
at once. Governments should undertake an
analysis of the particular barriers facing girls as
a necessary prelude to selecting a package of
the most pertinent interventions. An opinion
poll of the perceptions of parents and children
of those barriers would play an important part
in such an analysis.
Making education free and compulsory is the
keystone of any national plan to eliminate gender
disparity in education and achieve universal
education. Faced with an economically driven
choice between sending sons or daughters to
school, poor families often send their sons.
Removing fees or offering financial support
to families with daughters in school, as well as
explaining the advantages of sending girls to
school, can make a real difference. In Malawi,
for example, the initial result of abolishing
school fees in 1994 was an increase in enrolment
of almost 70 per cent, from 1.9 million in the 1993/94 academic year to 3.2 million
in the 1994/95 academic year.
- Strategies for girl’s education