Cover Image
close this bookBreaking the Barriers - Women and the Elimination of World Poverty (DFID, 1999, 24 p.)
close this folderEducation and health
close this folderEDUCATION
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View the documentSchooling
View the documentLiteracy and Non-Formal Education


We have helped develop new plans for education in Tanzania and Uganda These include specific targets for the greater involvement of female students and teachers Improving the participation of the wider community, particularly women, in the management of schools and the schooling process are also priorities.

Social analysis undertaken in the design phase of a new education project in Guyana showed the inextricable links for women between poverty, social exclusion, and lack of education This project now has a strong gender focus.

In Kenya, the DFID-funded Support to Primary Education (SPRED) project includes a comprehensive gender strategy. Research funded through the project has identified barriers to girls' attendance and performance at school. Gender-aware approaches have been developed to in-service teacher training and class and school management techniques A voluntary code of conduct has been agreed with local publishers and authors to eliminate gender stereotyping from reading materials.

Gender and Social Exclusion in Guyana

Marlene is an 18-year-old mother of three, now pregnant with her fourth child. She lives with her partner and children in a small one-room wood and zinc building with a sand floor. Their home is not serviced by water or electricity and has no sanitation...

Marlene dropped out of high school when she became pregnant in the third year. Her eldest daughter is in the first year of nursery school. Her partner works mining for gold in the interior, which takes him away for periods of up to six weeks. Marlene is left to care for the children and has little support beyond that provided by neighbours...

Jean is in her thirties. She has one child by her present partner and two other children from a previous relationship. Like Marlene, she and her family live in a one-room shack, with no utilities. Her partner also works in the bush and is away for long periods. When she is alone she often feels insecure, as people often bang on the windows at night. There is a high incidence of rape in the area, particularly when girls go to fetch water from the standpipe by the main road. Some days she and her children go without meals...

Jean's daughter is now of nursery school age but is not attending because she cannot afford the uniform, shoes or snacks.

Social Appraisal, Guyana Education Access Project, April 1998

In Malawi, we are working with the government on a Primary Community Schools Project which is helping more than 100 communities to build, manage, and maintain their own primary schools. Targets have been agreed to ensure women's involvement in all school committees. Efforts are being made to attract more women into the teaching profession and appoint more female head teachers. A programme in Zambia aims to and improve reading levels in primary schools It supports the new Zambian government policy of teaching reading in vernacular languages as well as in English Research has shown that girls are more disadvantaged than boys when literacy is only taught in a second or third language

In India, DFID is supporting the District Primary Education Programme in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal This is part of a nationwide programme to improve quality, access, enrolment and retention in primary education, particularly for girls, especially those from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, religious minorities, working children, and migrants