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A world of possibilities A world of possibilities
By Dr. Harriet Sakala, FAWEZA Alumni

From the Executive

FAWE to heighten focus on positive factors for girls’ schooling in 2009


Monday, 5 January 2009

10 years ago, FAWE launched its Centre of Excellence (COE) model to create a fair and conducive learning environment for both girls and boys in Africa. Today, FAWE plans to scale up and replicate best practices for girls’ schooling emerging from the COE model. FAWE will establish new COEs in at least 10 countries this year while continuing to provide support to its 12 existing COEs and three newly established ones.

Over the years, FAWE’s COE model has produced positive, measurable results on girls’ access, retention and performance. COEs have seen more girls retained in school and completing the school cycle. Girls in COEs participate more in classroom processes and have better academic performance in national examinations and throughout the school year. Teenage pregnancy has dropped significantly in all COEs. At COEs, more girls participate in school committees and assume leadership roles. Boys in mixed COEs have higher gender awareness, leading to better gender relations within the school community.

Through a comprehensive package of interventions, the Centre of Excellence takes a holistic, integrated approach towards gender-related problems in education. It combines a conducive learning and teaching environment in the school with active community support for girls’ education.

Interventions include:

  • Bursaries to support underprivileged girls through the cycle;
  • Empowerment programmes to rebuild girls’ self-esteem, develop leadership qualities and enable boys to de-link from gender oppressive attitudes and practices;
  • Gender-responsive pedagogy training for teachers;
  • Gender-responsive review of curricula, including textbooks, visual aids, laboratory, sports and computer equipment;
  • Programmes to enhance girls’ participation and performance in science and technology subjects;
  • Boarding facilities for girls with emphasis on sanitation, nutrition, sports and health facilities;
  • An efficient, gender-responsive school management system;
  • Community mobilization and sensitization programmes; and
  • Literacy and income-generating initiatives for mothers.

In 2009, new FAWE COEs will be established in Benin, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Southern Sudan, Swaziland and Zanzibar. FAWE plans to have at least one Centre of Excellence in 35 countries in the FAWE network by 2012.

Please visit www.fawe.org for regular news updates.

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