Girls in School Initiative
Girls in School Initiative
The Girls In School Initiative is a boy-led and boy-run community organisation that brings up the boys’ voice and support to girls’ education.
Gender disparities in education do not favour girls; so are the boys privileged? GISI brings boys to the front to support Girl Child Education. It gets boys involved in programs, activities and initiatives that aim at uplifting girls’ access to education by supporting the principles of enrollment, retention and completion of education by the girls.
“For every ten boys enrolled in secondary school, there are only eight girls.” (World Bank 2013)
“In the west Nile Sub Region of Uganda, for every ten boys enrolled in secondary school, there are only five girls.” ( Twinomujuni 2011)
While nearly 40 percent of boys in the West Nile sub region complete secondary education or higher, fewer than 11 percent of girls can claim the same. (UBOS 2012)
“Average primary school completion rates for boys in sub Saharan Africa stands at 56 percent but only 46 percent for Girls.”
“93.7 percent of girls in Uganda enroll in school.”
“59.4 percent of girls enrolled in primary pass Grade 5.”
“55.3 percent of girls in Uganda transit from Primary to Secondary school.”
Every report that appears in the world and in Uganda, particularly about educational disparities, shows shortcomings for girls. They always receive the least of the equation, while the boys ‘thrive’. GISI helps find ways for girls to catch up and raise their level of education.
Boys here in Uganda contribute to girls school dropout through sexual harassment. Early marriage also contributes to drop out rates among girls. Since boys are part of the problem, GISI therefore believes they should be involved in finding solutions, and that this will have a very significant impact.
A personal experience is from the woman member of parliament of Mpigi District Uganda, Hon. Sarah Temulanda. When she was approached about concerns for girls’ education, commented that she was surprised and pleased that now it’s the boys who have come up to help support the girls stay in school.
Hence supporting the start of the Girls In School Initiative’s slogan of “where boys help.”
To find a solution to these problems, the Girls In School Initiative is doing a lot through programs such as;
• The Community Centered Advocacy Program.
Community public talk shows are organized with more focus on having the boys take part in discussing issues of girls’ education. These are organized in schools, communities and universities, and bring the boys out as supporters, not only leaders in education.
• Girl Education Inspired Students’ Competitions.
Here GISI designs and undertakes student competitions like art competitions, essay competitions and public speaking competitions aimed at increasing awareness of the students themselves on the importance of girl child education. They include boys in drawing solutions to problems in educating girls, and prize competitions.
• Students’ Scholastic Materials Centered Advocacy.
This is through the For-Profit section of GISI, and involves the production of student scholastic materials like books, pens, bags and pencils which include advocacy information about girl child education. This also works as an income generating project for the organisation on which the raised profit has a percentage dedicated to helping needy girls get education as explained below.
• Scholastic Material and Financial Support to Less Privileged Girls.
This is through the provision of materials like books, pens, bags, pencils, sanitary materials and others to the most in need girls. Here we focus on poor girls and rural based girls. Every book sold as per above, 100 Ugandan Shillings on the per-book profit is dedicated to support this girl stay in school.
GISI is just at its initial stages, just having been started this 2015 year, just been undertaking feasibility studies on the most needed areas to support in girl child education and the above solutions fall directly to the most pressing challenges, in the 2016, GISI is to rolled out its general programs and will start operations from the Slam areas of Kampala District (the Capital) and then to Wakiso District and Mukono District as the targets for the year 2016, after which other districts will be added.
At the start, the target is to support ten girls per district and this will get on increasing as more resources and revenues are collected from the sale of the project materials.
Every year, GISI is to expand its operations to three new districts, and this specifically will be to the supported girls who will be given scholastic materials and support needed to stay in school with more focus on the rural girls.
Also the Community Centered Advocacy Programs are to be rolled to a single district every year as these will be directly to at least two sub counties in a district and this will be more to those sub counties that are most affected by the Girl Child Education challenge.
The Students’ Competitions will be partnered with the relevant government bodies and other stake holders to cover the country through regions. The first year 2016 will have the central region competitions, second year 2017 the Eastern Region, 2018 Western region, 2019 Northern region and 2020 the southern region of the country.
The competitions will involve at least 200 schools participating from the region and this estimated to 1,000 student participants per region.