Child Friendly School
Within the framework of the initiative "Child Friendly School", a committee is currently visiting the different schools of the country in order to evaluate them in the light of some specific criteria such as girls’ education. The committee is studying school environment, meeting school headmasters, students, teachers, and students’ parents. During those meetings issues that are centered on schools and education are discussed , girls education in particular; in those discussions the emphasis is laid on what is being done or is to be done to make school environment friendly to children.
Quartier 6 is one of the popular districts of the capital city with two primary schools: Quartier 6 Primary School and Quartier 6 bis Primary School with respectively 1048 students (47% are girls) and 481 students (44% are girls). Quartier 6 Primary School is and located in old buildings that have been renovated and is now run by a young dynamic headmaster. During the discussion rounds on education and the issue of young girls who are not given the same opportunities as boys , he told us the story of Fardoussa. She is a young girl on sixth year of Primary education who was just withdrawn from school by her mother. Fardoussa is 12 and the youngest of a family of 5. Her father is a guard in a company in Djibouti and does not earn enough to take care of the family adequately. Her mother manages to deal with household chores, as much as she can, with the help of her daughter. At the end of the first term, the headmaster summoned the parents to report about the students’ progress as this sixth year of school was the final with and exam at the end. Fardoussa ‘mother was told about the difficulties her daughter was having in class to catch up with her classmates because she was not doing homework at all; she was running the risk conclude the headmaster to fail if she did not make the necessary efforts to improve her level. Fardoussa’s mother decided at once to withdraw her daughter from school telling the headmaster that as Fardoussa was not doing well at school she would therefore be helping her at home. That was the last day of school for the little girl despite her burning desire to learn; she has learnt the bitter lesson that girls do not have equal opportunity as boys. Fardoussa knows that her brother repeated class twice at primary school and was paid private tutoring until he passed his exams. Fardoussa was sent to add up to the crowd of illiterate women which is already very important in the country.