Gathering global experience and sharing our knowledge to improve quality and inclusivity of education for all
In recent years, huge strides have been made in girls’ education. In many countries, girls are now just as likely to attend primary school as boys. More girls than ever before are finishing primary school and transitioning to secondary education, and in many countries, female university graduates easily outnumber their male counterparts. So why do we still need to talk about girls’ education? In this article, we explore the systemic challenges which continue to prevent many girls from accessing and completing high-quality education, and the implications of these inequalities for millions of girls and their communities worldwide.
The modern labour market can be a challenging, competitive and complex place for young people to navigate. There are approximately 73 million unemployed youth globally (ILO.org). The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated the share of youth aged 15-24 not in employment, education or training (NEET) in 2020 to be at 23% globally and at 33% in Southern Africa, 31% in MENA and 11% in European Union member states (ILOSTAT). Successful engagement of young people in the labour market is essential for their own personal livelihoods and wellbeing and for social and economic change.
Gender gaps in education widen significantly at the time of adolescence due to the compounding disadvantage faced by girls, including negative gender norms, and health and safety risks. Our Girls’ Education Challenge project in Kenya works to support girls in a tailored way as they transition to secondary or vocational education and training pathways. In this case study, we illustrate the power of our guiding principle for adolescent girls’ education: as girls grow, we need to grow with them.
Improving learning outcomes for girls requires gender-sensitive, participatory, and context-driven solutions. In this commentary, we reflect on the results of a recent baseline analysis conducted for our latest pilot intervention under the Building Learning Foundations Programme – the launch of girls’ clubs in Rwanda.
Our approach to improving outcomes for girls through better quality pedagogy is based on a rigorous and holistic understanding of what it takes to change the behaviour of all actors in schools and across local and national systems. This includes leaders, teachers and learners – we call it ‘Good quality pedagogy for learning and equity.’ In this commentary, we discuss the key aspects of our approach to this critical issue for improving learning for all girls and boys across the world.
Teachers are among the most critical actors in ensuring meaningful change in education systems around the world and ensuring their buy-in to gender-responsive pedagogy and the importance of educating girls will be crucial to achieving gender equity in education. In this commentary, we draw on our recent research project with the British Council to explore teachers’ and school leaders’ attitudes to girls’ education in Nigeria, as well as examples of promising practice.
What have Covid-19 school closures meant for some of the world’s most vulnerable learners, urban slums and arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya? Our recent report for the EdTech Hub highlights how community co-operation – more than technology – can improve educational outcomes for marginalised girls.