Côte d’Ivoire: So that Girls Complete Their Schooling — English

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Côte d’Ivoire: So that Girls Complete Their Schooling

Since the year 2000, the Ivoirian government has made numerous efforts in girls’ education. Although young Ivoirian girls have good access to school, there is still a significant drop-out problem. It is on this strong statement from the Ministry of Education that Graines de Paix has pushed to define its goal: “Our goal is to ameliorate school conditions for girls” explained our project manager.

Côte d’Ivoire: So that Girls Complete Their Schooling

Sorana Secasiu, project manager for West Africa and the national coordinator, Tiemele Kouassi, with staff from the Ivoirian Ministry of Education.

According to the Ivoirian Ministry of Education, the primary school completion rate for girls remains low, and lower than boys': out of 100 girls who start school at 6, only 58 will still be in school at age 10. This low percentage is one that Graines de Paix aims to increase. In its mission, the NGO works for quality education as much for girls as for boys. This mission is outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.

Schooling for Girls in the SDGs

This goal is outlined as follows (target 4.1)''By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.''
In addition, (target 4.5): “By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations”
Source: Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Website
Graines de Paix is therefore looking to support governments working towards these objectives

« A Better School for Girls »

In 2019 and 2020, Graines de Paix focuses on improving girls’ education and violence prevention in schools. We expect that the project will be conducted in primary schools in the Man region (northwest) and Odienné (north), and secondary schools in Abidjan (south). Graines de Paix’s efforts with not only benefit 740 teachers and nearly 40,000 students, but also social workers and parents of students.
Through ongoing training of primary and secondary school teachers, development of educational resources that support teachers’ classroom practices, and raising awareness in parents, Graines de Paix aims to improve girls’ academic achievement, safety, and well-being in school.

Boosted Change

Our team is therefore mobilized to understand the needs on the ground. In Odienné (in the northwest), our project manager Sorana Secasiu, accompanied by our national coordinator Tiemele Kouassi, gave the floor to teachers and educational counsellors.
“We absolutely had to check the reality of what was happening in the classroom to see if our assumptions were correct or not,” explained Sorana. “This first meeting allowed us to define our general objectives, intermediate objectives, and finally the concrete actions that need to be implemented.”
«Quality tools that respond to teachers' needs

Since 2017, Graines de Paix has worked in Man (in the west) in teachers’ ongoing education. A formative evaluation of our program carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine statistically showed significant and very encouraging results in changes in teachers’ behavior and in their perception of violence as a method of classroom management. Teachers are less inclined to resort to violence as a method of classroom management and they are now aware of the consequences of the use of violence towards children.
Our training and pedagogical mission manager, Frédérique Boubakeur, went to Man in the month of July, accompanied by Mustapha Dally, head of field training in Côte d’Ivoire. Graines de Paix and the beneficiaries in the field brainstormed together on improvements that could be made to the educational tools for the project. The students’ parents were also included in the process in order to create continuity between school and home.