*** DEBUG END ***

DfID funds Ugandan learning project for girls

21 February 2014

by a staff reporter


Teacher training at the project in Uganda

Teacher training at the project in Uganda

A PROJECT in Uganda to encourage girls to go back to school has been backed by £1 million of funding by the Department for International Development (DfID).

About 83 per cent of girls in Uganda leave school before secondary age, going out to work or getting married instead; and 13 per cent of girls do not even go to primary school.

Official figures show that 15 per cent of girls are illiterate, but the international children's charity Viva says that figures for functional literacy are much lower. Andrew Dubock, from the charity, says: "Our research shows that only five per cent of girls were numerically literate, and 36 per cent could read a simple paragraph."

Viva is running a two-year project to reintegrate girls into upper primary and lower secondary school, in partnership with the Christian charity Crane, which operates in Uganda.

The project will reach out to about 4000 girls in and around the Ugandan capital, Kampala, by encouraging them to return for one or two terms to 20 learning centres, which will offer a less formal education through a wide range of subjects. "Graduating" from the centre will help them to go back into mainstream school.

Four in ten girls are living below the poverty line in Uganda, and parents often prioritise the education of the girls' brothers.

Martha, a girl attending one of the centres, said: "I came to this centre to acquire the practical skills taught here, and also learn English. I completed Primary Seven, hoping to continue with my education, but became pregnant. The father of my child offers no support. It is my mother and I that work through agriculture to survive.

"After leaving, I plan to use what I have learned here as a stepping stone to what I want to become. I plan to pass on this knowledge skills to my siblings and other people so they can be like me. My dream is to be a teacher."

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)