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Non-traditional teaching methods could get girls in to schooling


Summary of story from IPS News, October 4, 2011

Some simple, basic changes in education policy can result in many more girls attending school, experts said at a recent meeting in Paris on Gender Equality in Education.

Experts from the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said that for girls to learn efficiently, they need to feel safe at school and that they face very specific challenges that can prevent them getting an education.

Girls can be harassed on the way to school, and even in school. Homework is difficult when they are expected to be heavily involved in household chores when they are at home.

By succeeding in education, some of these girls might be inspired to join educational leadership programs that will allow them to assist other girls in succeeding as well.

Kenya has made improvements already, including providing food at lunch time, private latrines and making sanitary towels available so that the girls do not have to miss school while they are menstruating (see WVoN story).

But UNESCO feels that too little is being done in some countries to reach the UN’s goal of gender parity in education by 2015 and is encouraging governments to be creative in working out ways to make education more accessible for the girls in their countries.

The director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said that the United Nations has been working to establish “non- traditional” places of learning for girls and women, such as mobile schools in nomadic communities and community centres of learning for illiterate or ‘drop-out’ girls.

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