Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced a big new girls’ education programme aimed at enabling thousands of girls to complete primary and secondary school.
The programme, ‘Keeping Girls in School’ (KGIS) will tackle several of the factors that force girls to drop out of school which include early marriage and pregnancy, violence against girls, poverty and the lack of girl friendly sanitation facilities in schools.
The four year programme will provide a minimum of 15,000 girls with bursaries, construct 300 latrine blocks and sanitation facilities in Community Day Secondary schools, provide cash transfers to up to 200,000 girls and raise the profile of girls’ education through high level advocacy and public engagement.
The KGIS programme will also increase the participation of women in girls’ education by training up to 20,000 female teachers with skills to effectively mentor girls and train 3000 Mother Groups to provide counselling support to girls.
Head of DFID Malawi, Sarah Sanyahumbi said: ‘’ The UK has committed to putting girls and women at the heart of our development assistance and we are proud to launch the Keeping Girls in School programme which will help many more girls get through school and get a decent education.
“We know that currently only one in four girls in Malawi completes primary school and only two in five students in secondary school are girls. Women and girls suffer most from poverty and investing in them through education means they will get married later, have fewer children, make healthier life choices and increase their potential of finding employment after school. KGIS will open up opportunity for many more girls to stay in school and improve their life chances.’’
The KGIS programme worth MK22.5billion is the biggest single investment to date in girls’ education in Malawi. It scales up an essential set of interventions that promote girls’ education but which until now have been too scale small to make a significant difference.
KGIS is implemented through several partners including UNICEF, FAWEMA, Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) and DAPP.
DFID currently supports Government of Malawi through a £50 million Education Sector Reform Programme (MESRP) to support transformational change in Malawi’s education sector and to improve gender parity. This is part of a £200 million donor pooled fund in the Education Sector-Wide Approach (EdSWAp).
DFID launched in 2011 a £355m Girls Education Challenge (GEC) to help up 650,000 girls complete a full 6 years of primary education and up to one million through junior secondary school in the poorest countries in Asia and Africa including Malawi.