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close this bookRedressing Gender Inequalities in Education - A Review of Constraints and Priorities in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe (DFID, 1995, 89 p.)
View the document5.1. Introduction
View the document5.2 Expanding educational provision
View the document5.3 Type of school provision and organisation
Open this folder and view contents5.4 School inputs
View the document5.5. Community involvement and awareness
View the document5.6. Improving girls' health and nutrition
View the document5.7 Recruiting more female teachers
Open this folder and view contents5.8 Reducing direct costs
View the document5.9 Reducing indirect costs

5.3 Type of school provision and organisation

Organisation issues are of paramount importance when considering any expansion of school enrolments. The size and spacial distribution of schools is particularly critical. The choice is often between one large centralised school or smaller schools at shorter distances from children's' homes. Research suggests that smaller schools with closer community ties are more effective for boys as well as girls (Herz et al, 1991). The distance problem has been approached in two ways: either the schools are brought closer to homes or boarding facilities are provided. There is a strong move towards decentralisation of school structures in many African countries which has the potential of bringing schooling closer to the people. Different modes of educational delivery have been experimented with, including multigrade classrooms, double shifting with feeder and satellite schools at the primary level, radio and correspondence courses at the post-primary levels, and literacy programmes for adults (King and Hill, 1993). Distance education is particularly suited to countries like Zambia with widely dispersed rural communities.

The relative merits of single sex day and boarding schools have already been discussed at some length. Although single sex boarding schools are relatively costly, they do seem to offer a safe and secure atmosphere for girls. Until mixed schools are able to provide an atmosphere that is supportive to girls, single sex schooling, in theory at least, remains a desirable, although costly, option.