eDiscussion #3: Secondary Education and other Post Primary Opportunities

eDiscussion 3 topic: Secondary Education and other Post Primary Opportunities

Moderator:  Jennifer Gibson, Research Manager, CAMFED International

Start: 7 May 2007

Welcome to the third eDiscussion of GirlsEd-Net on “Secondary Education and other Post Primary Opportunities”, to be moderated by Jennifer Gibson of CAMFED International. The discussions will feed into the special session on ‘Financing for Gender Equality in Education’ as part of the upcoming 8 th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting to be held in Kampala between 10-14 June.

The global effort to reduce the number of out-of-school children has seen some impressive gains in recent years in the increased enrolment of children in basic education, fuelled by bold initiatives such as school fee abolition. The result is that in many areas, pressure is growing further up the system as larger cohorts prepare to make the transition to secondary and vocational education.

The benefits of secondary education for girls, including increased economic opportunities, smaller and healthier families and its role as a “social vaccine” against HIV, are well documented. Yet, at the current time in many countries, access to this crucial point in the educational cycle is curtailed by lack of available school places. Where secondary education is accessible, often schools are long distances from pupils’ homes which undermines parental or guardian oversight of their children’s welfare and exposes girls’ vulnerability. Vital issues of quality come into play as limited resources are stretched to accommodate large numbers of pupils, often to the detriment of learning achievements, with the result that many young people leave school lacking the necessary skills and confidence to make sound life choices in an environment where formal employment is scarce.

This e-discussion will examine the complexity of issues that underpin the opportunities presented by secondary education, and begins with the following key question: Are school-going costs the biggest barrier to secondary education?

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Consolidated replies, 8 June - 10 August 2007

Consolidated replies, 24 May - 8 June 2007

Consolidated replies, 16-23 May 2007

Consolidated replies, 7-15 May 2007

Initial Email, 7 May 2007



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Jennifer Gibson, Research Manager, CAMFED International