In southern Chad, parents commit to good management of the schools
"This training has made me aware that no student should be left behind.” Dabaye Mahamoua, member of the Students’ Mothers association in Danamadja camp.
Dabaye Mahamoua, 45, is one of the figures of the students’ mothers association in Danamadja camp for Central African refugees.. A mother of five, she fled to Chad in 2003 to escape the crisis in her home country.
Dabaye makes a living through small-scale trade, she is also involved as a child protection volunteer in her community with a special focus on girls: "I am an active member of the students’ mothers association because I think it is important to help parents understand that sending their kids, and particularly their daughters to school is important. I go door-to-door, advocate for girls’ education, I also tell them about fighting child marriage and promotion of menstrual hygiene. It is important to act to help girls succeed in school”.
Parent Teacher Associations are involved and committed to school management In 400 schools in Chad covered by ECW funding. They oversee the recruitment and effective presence of community teachers in the school, the good management of the school's assets and the mobilisation of parents for the schooling of their children. But parents sometimes lack the skills to fully play their role.
In March 2022, the Ministry of Education, with UNICEF support and funding from Education Cannot Wait, organized a special training for 260 members of parent associations, students ’mothers groups and school management committees in the Logone Oriental Province of southern Chad
The training is very interactive: participants regroup in the classroom and role-play the roles that women/girls and men/boys play in society. These simulations allow the participants to understand the tasks that are assigned to different social strata but also the discrimination that takes place against women or girls. For example, they discuss whether housework should only be carried out by women and whether girls should be married at an early age, which would force them to drop out of school. During the sessions, participants are invited to share their thoughts about the way their communities are organized and how they take action to give women more opportunities and keep the girls in school. At the end of the session they are able to identify the obstacles to education, especially for girls.
. "During the training we addressed the issue of gender and school management, said Kamnadji Le-Koumtog, a pedagogical inspector and trainer . We helped parents and management committees understand the roles of girls, boys and how education should respond to their specific needs without excluding certain groups such as children with disabilities. We encouraged them to promote child protection children's rights in their communities. Now we are confident that the representatives of parents, mothers and school management committees will be spokespersons for these issues in their communities", he says.
Guinambaye Djibo, a member of Parents Teachers association believes the training was beneficial. "Now I better understand my role as a parent. I know how I can collaborate with mothers' associations and members of the School Management Committee to ensure children receive a good education, and I am also better equipped to contribute to the school’s management. I also know that gender is about respecting the rights of every child, girl or boy, on a daily basis."
Masde Honoré, member of the School Management Committee in the city of Goré, also takes away what he thinks is a better understanding of gender issues: "In the future, I will be able to better manage girls and boys by taking into account their specific needs. For example, the construction of separate and clean toilets will allow girls to continue to come to school during their menstrual periods and avoid missing class.”