UNESCO’s Support to Girls Education in Imotong State
Community Girls Schools (CGS) is a unique education program designed to accelerate equitable access to quality basic education for girls aged between 8-12 years in villages that have no established formal schools. It’s a modified education program which offers flexible learning opportunities to learners mainly in lower primary education, where girls are expected to constitute 70% of the total learners, and boys constitute the remaining 30%. The CGS program is mainly characterized by condensed syllabus, faster learning process, targeting marginalized female learners, and flexibility in the learning schedule and calendar.
One of the four clusters of CGSs that are getting support from the Out of School Children (OOSC) project being implemented by UNESCO Juba Office is that of Imotong State. The partner that is given the assignment to provide the support and to run the 93 CGSs in the three counties of Torit, Magwi and Nimule is Alternative Basic Education for Pastoralists (ABEP). ABEP has also managed to cater for displaced children who left their areas of Pageri, Moli and Kerepi and are temporarily settled in Nimule.
ABEP has recruited 93 all-female CGS teachers who are conducting classes for 2,731 students (1,927 girls and 804 boys). As the target set was to enroll 2,790 students, ABEP has achieved a 97.9% success rate in terms of enrolment. With regard to sex disaggregated targets, ABEP had planned to enroll 1,953 girls and therefore has achieved 98.7% of its target; the success rate for boys is 92.8% as the plan was 837 boys and actual enrolment is 804. ABEP has reported that it has given capacity development orientation training for all its 93 teachers in the writing of lesson plans, and use of learners’ attendance register.
ABEP has conducted one assessment of learning so far, and the pass rate for girls was 63% and for boys 67%, an indication of the need to work harder to support girls succeed in their education.
ABEP mentions insecurity and famine in the project areas as two of the major challenges it faces in the execution of its activities. It recommends some kind of school feeding programme to be launched in the CGS schools if it is possible to do so.