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Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Risk Indicator: 1 in 2 girls surveyed at risk of never returning to school

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About the Girls’ Education Risk Indicator

In one of the largest surveys of girls in low-income communities across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, Room to Read has produced findings of their Girls’ Education Risk Indicator results.

The aim of the indicator is to assess the impact of COVID-19 school closures on girls’ education in lowincome communities that face gender inequality around the world.

The headline result is that 1 in 2 girls (49%) enlisted in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program are at higher risk of not returning to school once they are safe to reopen.

Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Risk Indicator results have been compiled from interviewing nearly 24,000 girls during school closures in their country.

The girls interviewed are between 15 and 19 years old and living in low-income communities across eight countries in Asia and Africa: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Tanzania. These countries typically see high rates of girls dropping out of education early.

The interviews took place over the phone or via video app calls in April and May 2020. Room to Read mentors asked three simple “yes” or “no” questions, allowing the girls to answer truthfully, without fear of retribution from their families. They asked:

• Are you currently self-studying/keeping up with academic learning at home?

• Has anyone in your household lost a job or a source of income as a result of COVID-19?

• Are you concerned about being able to return to school once schools reopen?

We have outlined the results to each question in this report.
The Girls’ Education Risk Indicator was devised by Room to Read’s leading experts on international girls’ education and education research.