Feb 17, 2009, 4:36 AM
A two-day validation workshop on assessment report on the level of performance improvement of girls' education yesterday ended at the Paradise Suites Hotel.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Baboucarr Bouy, said educating girls has been a challenge for a long time, given that girls were either withdrawn or barred from going to school by factors, such as early marriage, teenage pregnancy, poverty, male child preference, peer pressure, low adult literacy and religious misconceptions.
This, he added, resulted in low enrolment and retention of girls in schools.
He further noted that the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education had set up girls' education unit and introduced a lot of initiatives towards addressing these challenges. Principal, among the initiatives, he said, was the sponsorship trust fund for girls' which was launched in 1999 in order to support the enrolment, retention and performance of girls in Upper Basic and Senior Secondary Schools in the Upper and Central River Regions, and later extended to the North Bank and the Lower River Regions in 2003, as the country started benefiting from the highly indebted countries (HIPC) initiative.
According to Mr. Bouy, this initiative alongside the
"Evidence of this impact can be traced to the fact that the Gross Enrolment rates for the Upper Basic and Senior Secondary levels have increased significantly from 61% to 92% and 18% to 36%, respectively from 2000 to 2008," he said.According to him, the enrolment for girls at the Upper Basic and Senior Secondary levels has increased from 38% to 58% and 13% to 33%, respectively, and in terms of completion rates, there has been an appreciable level of increase for girls at Upper Basic and Senior levels, which increase from 69% to 82% and 15% to 68%, respectively in 2000 and 2008. He noted that similar achievements have also been registered in the transition rates.