effective strategies in girls' education - Varkey Foundation

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EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES IN GIRLS’ EDUCATION Lessons Learnt from Ghana

AUTHORS:

Emma Broadbent Celestine Dordoye Leonora Dowley Muniratu Issifu

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EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES IN GIRLS’ EDUCATION

About the Varkey Foundation The Varkey Foundation is a registered charity established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world. Our mission is that every child should have a good teacher. We do this through building teacher capacity, advocacy campaigns to promote excellence in teaching practice at the highest levels of policy making and providing grants to organisations that offer innovative solutions in support of our mission.

Trustees: David Clifford, Karen Giles, Amanda Jenkins, Sir Michael Lockett, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Dino Varkey, Jay Varkey and Sunny Varkey. The Varkey Foundation is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under charity number 1145119 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company number 07774287. Registered office: 5 New Street Square London EC4A 3TW

Contact: Vikas Pota Chief Executive 2nd Floor, St Albans House 57 – 59 Haymarket London, SW1Y 4QX. UK +44 (0) 20 7593 4040 [email protected]

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EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES IN GIRLS’ EDUCATION

This policy briefing outlines our demonstrable commitment to Girls’ Education, sets out our key lessons learnt to emerge from the field, and offers DFID and other donor agencies relevant guidance in supporting effective Girls’ Education programming.

1. Why quality Girls’ Education? The Varkey Foundation Approach The post-2015 education agenda seeks to fill critical gaps in the quality and reach of education amongst the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, where girls find themselves facing multiple exclusions (World Bank, 2012). Following the major gains in widening access to primary education and reducing gaps between boys and girls achieved in line with Millennium Development Goal 2, we now need to be smarter about how to provide quality education that reaches the most marginalised. Here, the Varkey Foundation explains how its core mission to empower teachers to provide high-quality teaching is critical to achieving quality Girls’ Education at scale. Girls’ Education is a priceless asset and essential for development transformation The barriers to Girls’ Education exist at multiple (and reinforcing) levels: individual, familial and societal. Despite gains over the last fifteen years, major challenges remain. In Sub-Saharan Africa girls are still less likely to enrol in primary school than boys, despite gender parity in primary and secondary education being having improved globally. The issue is particularly stark for girls from the poorest families: among these, almost half of the girls (15 million) will never enter a

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EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES IN GIRLS’ EDUCATION

classroom, girls, compared with just over a third of the boys (EFA, 2015). This means that they will not reach the transition to secondary school, nor higher education. Due to overlapping barriers tied to geography, gender, and poverty education for these girls is terminated at an early age. The issue here is not only one of gender parity: these numbers are hugely significant when we consider that an educated mother is more than twice as likely to send her children to school than a mother who did not complete primary school (UNICEF, 2009). The inter-generational effects of girls not attending school are therefore vast, as are the repercussions for wider society. Child deaths would be cut in half if all women had a secondary education, saving 3 million lives. And all maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds if each mother completed primary education (EFA, 2012). Poverty remains the most important factor linked to educational inequality alongside where a girl lives, her ethnicity, the language she speaks at home and whether she has a