Without the catch-up class, I would have had to stop school

Arilina's parents were no longer able to pay her school fees. So when she repeated her grade, they decided it would be better for her to stop school

Abela RALAIVITA
Hanitra, 12, follow the catch up class which improve her study at the secondary school.
UNICEF/UN0299724/Ralaivita

15 May 2019

Razafy Arilina Hanitra, 12, is in 6th grade at the Lower Secondary School of Tanambao/Taolagnaro (Anosy region). In 2018, she was forced to stop school to help her parents, who make their living from their small businesse. "My parents could no longer support us and were no longer able to pay my school fees. In addition, I repeated my grade and they decided it would be better for me to stop school," she explains. Arilina was really disappointed about this situation and wanted to continue her studies.

Fortunately, thanks catch-up classes, she was able to find her way back to school. She heard the announcements about the classes on the radio and hurried to register at the school. "I had to explain to my parents how this course would improve my academic performance and that I would work hard to get good grades," she says with relief. She has taken the course every day from 8 to 11am during the summer holidays and every Wednesday since the start of the 2019 school year.  

Catch-up classes are a component of the Let Us Learn (LUL) programme, supported by UNICEF and funded by several partners such as Zonta International. Let Us Learn is an integrated programme for adolescent girls that uses a retention and prevention strategy that provides vulnerable and excluded girls with opportunities to realize their rights to an education in a safe and protective environment. The programme is built around three pillars of equity: reaching out-of-school children, expanding girls' education and improving the quality of learners' outcomes.

Strengthening education and securing the future

The LUL programme addresses issues of equity and innovation, and explicitly emphasizes the importance of girls' education after primary school. The programme also includes several key elements, including teacher training, provision of teaching materials, child protection measures, adolescent expression and participation. In the Anosy region, adolescents benefit from CRAN and adolescents benefit from the LUL program.

For Arilina, catch-up classes were an essential tool to go back to school. The course not only gave her the opportunity to return to school but also allowed her to improve her confidence and academic results.  "Arilina’s grades ar really improving, especially in Malagasy!" says Adeline, who is in charge of catch-up classes at the Tanambao Lower Secondary School.