Basic Education and Gender Equality

Program : Gender Equality and Basic Education

 

Program : Gender Equality and Basic Education

© UNICEF/Djibouti/Rabemiafara/

Context

Since early 2000, significant progress has been made in basic education in the Republic of Djibouti. The net enrollment rate rose from 43% to 66% between 2002 and 2006. 67% of city children are enrolled in primary education against 49% in rural areas. The gender parity at the national level is almost reached with a parity index of about 0.98 in 2006 in primary education against 0.82 in secondary.

However, efforts have still to be made to achieve objectives 2 and 3 of the Millennium Development Goals in Djibouti, since at least one in three children of school age does not attend school. Among them, girls are in the majority. In general, the education system continues to face access, quality and illiteracy problems.

According to a survey conducted by students, as part of a national campaign to promote children school attendance, the main causes of non-enrolment (Source: “The book on excluded children”, 2007) are poverty and social problems (orphanage status, children abandoned or neglected by parents, divorce, street children); legal status problems (difficulties inherent to birth certificate issuance); disability (physical disability, deafness, blindness, mental disorders); sociocultural issues (domestic work, child labor) as well as the way parents perceive education (non-enrolment of girls and disabled children).

Action

"Basic Education and Gender Equality" Program focuses on 3 components:
a) Equal  access to school facilities, including: (i) social mobilization of all stakeholders namely: education system officials, parents, communities, associations, mass media and school children - (ii) advocacy and promotion of accompanying measures to increase the number of girls reaching the second basic education cycle (iii) the strengthening of efforts to promote girls' education in areas where populations are still reluctant to sending their children to school (iv) the development of a healthy and protective environment for children, (v) the promotion of a "child-friendly school" through the improvement of the school environment as regards water, energy, sanitation and hygiene.
b) The quality of primary education through: (i) decreasing  school dropout by improving teachers’ training and supervision as well as supporting the Ministry in providing adequate teaching materials to both teachers and students, (ii) improving school performance through educational innovations, and (iii) the availability of a data collection system to routinely produce reliable and relevant statistical data; (iv) advocacy and adoption of appropriate measures to increase women's representation in the teaching career.
c) The non-formal education aims at: (i) A better access to preschool education and quality community supervision for all 4-5 years children from disadvantaged families in rural and suburban areas; (ii) the development of school alternative strategies and the improvement of learning conditions in non-formal education structures may pave the way to formal education or offer children a "school of second chance"; (iii) an important information and social mobilization component to ensure that the community not only adheres to the program, but also seizes the second chance opportunities available for children and adolescents.

Impact

The UNICEF program aims to contribute:
• to the achievement of universal access to quality primary education and the decrease in disparities based on gender attendance, social rank or area of origin.

The Education Program aims to ensure :
• over the period 2008 to 2012, 93% of school-age children (6-11 years) access a quality basic education with equal opportunity among boys and girls.

 

 
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