High school Essay
CHAPTER ONE 1. 0 INTRODUCTION In an effort to improve universal access to education, the ministry of education made a decision to introduce the re-entry policy. The policy is meant to accord girls who drop out of school owing to early pregnancy an opportunity to be re-admitted six months to one after delivery. This initiative has since scored a number of successes as some girls have gone back to school and successfully completed their secondary education , though some, order the age initially would have done so, Fifth National Development Plan(2006-2010).
Before October 13 1997, it was considered an expellable offence for girls who fell pregnant while at school. But the re-introduction of the re-entry policy on that date was a measure and recognition of the importance of addressing gender inequalities in national development and the need to narrow down the gender gap in the education, Ministry of Education (1996). Child pregnancy has been persistent factors in household and hence, the re-entry policy has enabled government and families to recoup the investment made in educating such girls and that the nation has been accorded the much needed educated human resource for national development.
1. 2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM There has been a marked increase in the Forum for women educationist of Zambia has endeavored to play in the support and sensitization of the re-entry policy in enhancing girl child education in Zambia. However, despite this increase not all have been able to go back to schools. This is a serious omission particularly when a good number of girls can utilize the given opportunity and when concerted effort has been made to enhance girl child education. In addition, all efforts and resources pumped in will go to waste. 1.
3 THE PURPOSE OF STUDY The purpose of this study is to find out the role FAWEZA is playing in promoting the reentry policy in enhancing girl child education and to find out the response of the policy by the girl child. 1. 4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY • • • • • • To find out the role of FAWEZA in promoting the re-entry policy. To find out whether school managers do comply with the policy. To find out the response of the re-entry policy by pupils. To find out whether the re-entry policy is a success or failure. To find out whether teachers and parents support the policy. To find out measures in improving the re-entry policy.
1. 5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS • • • • • • What is the role of FAWEZA in supporting the re-entry policy? Do school managers comply with the policy? What is the response of the re-entry policy by pupils? Is the re-entry policy a success or failure? Do teachers and parents support the re-entry policy? What measures can improve the re-entry policy? 1. 6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The study’s findings and recommendations may assist the Forum for Educationist of Zambia FAWEZA and the Ministry of Education in promoting and supporting the re-entry policy in enhancing girl child education in Zambia.
1. 7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY Because it was an introduction to research at degree, this research only covered a small part of Lusaka urban district. Secondly, money was a problem to access at the right time hence it delayed the process of collecting data. However, the researcher tried by all means to use the available resources, time to make sure that this is a success. @siamef Page 2 1. 8 DEFINITION OF TERMS ENHANCE; To improves or adds to strength. RE-ENTRY; An act or instance of somebody going back to enter. POLICY; A set of principles on which they are based
@siamef Page 3 CHAPTER 2 2. 0 LITERATURE REVIEW 2. 1 Policy Formulation In contrast to the policy of exclusion that preceded it, the re-entry policy advocates that girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy should be readmitted after giving birth. The aim of this policy is to find more innovative measures to help prevent the exclusion of young mothers from education. In the event of a girl being forced out of school due to pregnancy, the Ministry of Education in Zambia has provided policy guidelines to assist schools and other stakeholders such as FAWEZA etc.
”When the women’s movement in Zambia grew in strength, one of the issues they decided to fight for was injustice for girls who were thrown out of school after getting pregnant. In June 1995, the Zambia Association for University Women organized a conference on the situation of the girl-child in Zambia. The conference, which was held in preparation for the Fourth World Conference on Women, proposed to government that girls who became pregnant should be re-admitted into school once care for the child was assured” (FAWEZA, 2008, Ministry of Education, 2009).
The policy is grounded in the outcomes of the Beijing Conference of 1995, a conference at which the Women’s Movement drew up its own priorities and action plan. The conference demanded that girls who dropped out of school because of pregnancy should be readmitted. In addition to this, Zambia is a signatory to most of the international instruments that promote the rights of children and women. The country recognizes education of all children as a basic human right as enshrined in Article 26 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It further recognizes education as a right that is also guaranteed by the policy of Education for All (EFA), the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the United Nations Platform for Action, and the Millennium Development Goals. In addition to the international instruments, major national policy developments within the education sector were initiated, culminating in the development of the third Ministry of Education (Moe) policy on education in the document “Educating Our Future” (1996).
In 2000, the government adopted a National Gender Policy. The policy states that it will facilitate the readmission of girls who become pregnant back into school as a way of readdressing imbalances and inadequacies in the provision of education. The 2001 FAWEZA @siamef Page 4 workshop made a number of recommendations to improve the implementation of the re-entry policy. The recommendations were sent to the Ministry of Education for approval. Though there was no official acceptance, some of the recommendations were adopted, and that has made the policy work well, (FAWEZA, 2010) 2.
2 Response of the Policy In Zambia, some girls, especially in rural and peri-urban areas, fail to continue with their education as a result of teenage pregnancies. Although the Ministry of Education has a policy of allowing teenage mothers to go back to school after delivery, few are doing so. They find it difficult to leave their babies and stay in school for eight hours and are often ridiculed by others. The men responsible for their pregnancies often abandon them without any form of support. Unlike boys, a girl-child seems to have so much on her shoulders.
This is due to cultural inequalities that continue to define society’s way of life. Maybe this should be the focus of most of the gender discussion going on. Some girls in rural areas who fall pregnant are normally kept at home to help with domestic chores, or care for terminally ill parents. Others are forced into early marriages and thus denied the opportunity to further their education. Government, through the programme, has been seeking to bring teenage mothers back to school. Educating a girl-child has been a high priority for the Zambian Government, (Zambia Online).
In realizing the re-entry policy, FAWEZA (2009) reports that” Interviews with girls also revealed a high level of appreciation for the policy among schoolgirl mothers who had reentered after giving birth. They reported that they were grateful that the policy had given them a second chance“ Achievements highlighted by the head teachers and teachers were with regard to the increased number of girls who were readmitted after giving birth each year and the level of awareness of the policy by the parents who sent back their daughters after giving birth.
These positive stories are set however against the background of the high number of girls who fall pregnant before finishing school each year. 2. 3 Successes and Failures of the Re-entry Policy Despite the policy being put in place in Zambia, an increasing number of girls do not return to school after giving birth. Social economic and cultural factors have been commonly cited as reasons for this failure. The annual statistics from the Zambia Ministry of Education @siamef Statistical Bulletin shows increased number of pregnancies.
In addition, data from the Zambia Page 5 Demographic Health Survey (CSO, 2007) reveals that each year approximately 30% of the girls who drop out from school, do so because of pregnancy. The main reason stated for dropouts is the lack of financial support. The survey reveals that generally girls from disproportionately poor backgrounds drop out of school due to pregnancy compared to those from better off households. The survey shows a link between poverty and early adolescent pregnancy, which consequently leads them to be temporarily excluded from school.
Zambia has seen a tremendous increase in access to education with pupil’s enrolments growing Over 9% since 2000. Further, the illiteracy rate in Zambia has been halved over the past three Decades from 90% to 45%. In addition, in the past two decades, Zambia has vigorously embarked on formulating interventions to eliminate gender based discrimination against girls and women as a strategy towards creating more equal societies, FAWEZA ANNUAL WORK PLAN (2012). Despite this achievement, many challenges remain in education delivery in Zambia.
There is a huge gap in reaching the millennium development goals (MDG) and Education for All (EFA) goals by 2015. This particularly is a challenge given the country’s significant population growth and deep poverty. In addition, gender inequality is a long way from being realized. Despite the significant rise in female enrollment at primary school, fewer, female compared to male, enroll in high schools (particularly in rural areas) as many tend to drop out before completing secondary school.
According to the FAWE ANNUAL WORK PLAN (2005-2009), “Despite the challenges in the re-entry policy, the government-civil society interaction and the consultative process in Zambia represent one of the best-practice cases in sub-Saharan Africa. The policy is appreciated by a broad spectrum of people. Internationally, Zambia has been cited as a best example for implementing the policy. Representatives from a number of countries in the region, including Malawi, Botswana and South Africa have come to Zambia to learn about policy implementation.
” Interviews with the ministry of education DEBs, the national coordinator from a civil society organization (FAWEZA), head teachers, teachers and pupils indicated a high level of optimism for the ultimate success of the policy. Schools confirmed that the “re-entry policy is a good policy and indeed a historical watershed to the government of Zambia”. FAWEZA has provided 4,750 scholarships at basic, high school and tertiary levels in ratio of 7:3 girls and boys respectively. With the aim of improving the performance, retention and contribute to progression and pass rates of boys and girls on the scholarship @siamef Page 6.
programme, FAWEZA has created and continued supporting 390 Study Groups at upper basic school level and high school levels. FAWEZA will also facilitate the showcasing of the repackaged SMT Tele quiz DVDs in 25 schools aimed at inspiring girls to take up SMT subjects. The activity is intended to help FAWEZA track the impacts of using the media to sensitize communities, girls and women that girls are capable of performing well in SMT subjects as the boys. 2. 4 Compliance of the Policy by School Managers.
According to the Strategic Plan close out Report (2005-2009:20) “The creation of gender responsive school environments is cardinal in fostering access, retention and completion of girls in their education. In consideration of this, FAWEZA conducted training for 40 High School Managers in guidelines for gender responsive school environments and gender analysis and mainstreaming, while 58 female school managers took part in training in public image projection, which included role modeling, public speaking force field analysis and gender budgeting.
Further, using the MOE/UNICEF Girl-Friendly school module, provincial executive members and CWA members were oriented for them to orient school managers; Out of 63 school managers invited to the gender mainstreaming training, 54 attended; Various PECs and DECs met the newly appointed PEOs and DEBS to solicit support. ” Hence if such interventions are being carried out, various doors will be open to allow the success of the policy. @siamef Page 7 CHAPTER THREE 3. 0 Research Methodology The purpose of this chapter is to show how this study was conducted.
It looks at the instruments used. The methodology gives in depth principles used to analyze and collect data in the research. This is a qualitative case study research that makes extensive use of primary and secondary data. 3. 1 Research Design The research design which was used in this study was the descriptive survey. This study was aimed at collecting information from respondents on the role of FAWEZA and the re-entry policy in enhancing girl child education in Zambia. The researcher used both primary and secondary data.
Primary data was obtained through interviews with the FAWEZA representative, DEBs and administering questionnaires to Head teachers, teachers, Parents and Pupils while secondary was found from the internet, policy documents, statistical bulletins, books and magazines. 3. 2 Description of the sample. The proposed study targeted a sample of fifty (50) respondents. The sample included representatives of FAWEZA, DEBs, Ten (10) parents, five(5) teachers, five(5) guidance and counseling teachers, twenty(23) pupils and five(5)school managers.
The sample was drawn from five schools namely Matero Girls High school, Kamwala High school, Olympia Park High school, Kabuionga Girls High school and Libala High school within Lusaka urban District. In this study, purposive sampling was used in which both male and female were used in data collection. 3. 3 Sampling Procedure The study was purposively sampled on the basis of public secondary schools that had girls. The sampling of the schools was also purposive; this was done with the help of head teachers who reported that their schools had student-mothers enrolled or pregnant girls that dropped out of school.
Of the several schools in Lusaka urban District; 5 schools were chosen. However, due to the fact that schools closed, the pupils were drawn from those that used to go for studies during holidays. While the head teachers of the five schools confirmed having had schoolgirl pregnancy cases in their respective schools. @siamef Page 8 3. 4 Description of Research instruments In the process of data collection, in depth interviews and questionnaires were administered. The use of both instruments formed a complementary approach towards collecting data using qualitative type of research 3.
5 Data Collection In this study, in depth interviews were carried out to the representative of FAWEZA and the DEBs because detailed information was needed. Questionnaires were administered to school managers, parents, teachers and pupils 3. 6 Data Analysis Data analysis commenced after the process of data collection exercise. This included systematic arrangement of data from the field. This study is more qualitative to the perspective of the objectives and hence making qualitative research more reliable. 3. 7 Questionnaires In this instrument, data was covered over the required sample.
The content of the Questionnaires included: • • • • • Respondent’s role on the re-entry Policy in enhancing girl child education. Respondent’s compliance on the re-entry policy. Respondent’s support of the re-entry policy Respondent’s view on the measures to improve the re-entry policy. Respondent’s knowledge of the re-entry policy. 3. 8 Interview Guide Semi-structured interview were used as the main research technique in this study. The interviews covered various questions such as; • • • • The role of FWEZA in the re-entry policy.
Measures to improve the re-entry policy. Successes and challenges of the policy. Compliance of the policy by school administrators. Page 9 @siamef CHAPTER 4 4. 0 Findings and Discussions of the study. This section presents research findings based on the data collected from the DEBs; FAWEZA; head teachers; teachers ,parents and students from Matero Girls High School; Olympia Park High School; Kamwala High School; Libala High School; Kabulonga Girls High school in Lusaka urban district of Zambia. The findings are given under full heading derived from the objectives of the study.
4. 1 The role of FAWEZA in the re-entry policy The FAWE representative was interviewed on the role that FAWEZA plays in the re-entry policy by enhancing girl child education in Zambia. The representative confirmed of the major role that FAWEZA has undertaken in the support and implementation of the re-entry policy. In realizing the re-entry policy guidelines, the organization has realized various initiatives to bridge the persistent gender gaps in education. To mitigate the problem, the organization conducts various initiatives.
Some of the actions that are being undertaken include: • Advocacy to ensure pregnant girls go back to school after giving birth and they mix freely with other pupils. • Guidance and Counseling services are being offered to girls who fall pregnant in all the schools. • Bursaries are offered to girls, orphans and vulnerable children. FAWEZA has been able to take over the financial responsibility for some of the most vulnerable girls. The support does not cover only the school requirements. A little extra money is given for the girls’ toiletries.
Some of the girls who have had children fall into this category and benefit from the support, too. Girls who may have stayed away from school for financial reasons have been able to continue their education. Affirmative action for girls which lowers entry points into higher grades and tertiary have been implemented • Workshops and discussion forums are being held to discuss challenges encountered by implementing the policy and how these can be addressed in order to reduce gender imbalance in the education sector. @siamef Page 10 •
Stiffer Rules have been instituted in schools that protect girl children from Gender Based Violence and other abuses. Schools have come up with strategies to help girls avoid pregnancies. One of them was Kabulonga Girls in Need Association. A teacher who saw the need for girls to talk about the problems they faced started the club. He adopted tactics that helped the girls gain selfconfidence. When FAWEZA visited the school, it was impressed by what had been achieved. The school was asked to transform the club into SAFE, an American concept that stands for the Student Alliance for Female Education.
SAFE clubs, which are student networks for the promotion of female education, operate under the auspices of FAWEZA. SAFE aims to use peers or mentors to improve the wellbeing of the girl-child. The mentors come from institutions of higher learning such as the University of Zambia and the Evelyn Hone College. Girls who volunteer to become mentors are trained in adolescent reproductive health and counseling. They counsel victims of abuse, STI/HIV/AIDS and other related cases. The mentors help the club members to: ? Take responsibility and make informed choices ? Resist negative pressures ?
Build their self -esteem ? Discuss issues affecting them openly and freely ? Avoid risky behavior The Kabulonga SAFE club has become a national model. SAFE clubs have been opened throughout the country. They now admit boys as supporters. This will help the boys and girls to work together and grow to respect each other. The clubs are helping remove the stigma against re-entry girls. Another intervention introduced by FAWEZA is the Communication Box. A locked box stands outside the school. Girls drop suggestions or complaints into the box. Only teachers trained by FAWEZA are allowed to open the boxes.
If there are allegations against the school for further action. This has reduced cases of verbal and other abuse by teachers and students alike, FAWEZA REPORT (2004). @siamef Page 11 4. 2 Evaluation whether school managers comply with the policy In response as to whether school managers comply with the policy, respondents who responded to the Questionnaires and interviewed agreed that the Head teachers in their schools complied with the policy. Of the (5) school managers interviewed in the five (5) different schools,(100%) reported that they actually comply with the policy and follow the reentry policy guidelines.
This can be attributed in the high increase in the enrollments rates. The Head teachers comply with the policy through the following processes. 4. 2. 1 Readmission of girls who dropped out. The head teachers reported that they have massively been recruiting the young mothers who had actually dropped out of school due to early pregnancies. They said they have been doing so in order to support and comply with the policy guidelines because they were involved in the formulation of the policy at its initial level, Hence they needed to add a hand in the support of the policy.
The head teachers added that they do not hesitate to readmit the girls who had dropped out of school due to pregnancy or finance but the girls are supposed to produce the documents granting maternity leave and the medical report confirming pregnancy. 4. 2. 2 Moral support, encouragement and equal treatment. The head teachers reported that they have been offering moral support, encouragement and equal and fair treatment to the teen mothers with the rest of the students through the Guidance and counseling teachers in the schools.
From the findings obtained, it was confirmed by the key informants that the head teachers comply with the policy. However, it can be stated that the policy faced much resentment by several figures of the public. According to FAWEZA Report (2009; 14) “In the first year or two, there were newspaper reports of head teachers who would allow girls back only after intervention by the Ministry of Education. ” It can be said that at the early stages of the introduction of the policy, there was much needed sensitization on the benefits of the re-entry policy in enhancing girl child education in Zambia.
In one case, during the collection and sampling stage of this research with the District Education Office (DEBs), when asked if he had any cases of pregnant girls or studentmothers in the schools, he stated that he had some “unofficial cases‘ as they are yet to be @siamef Page 12 reported to his office by the girls‘ parents. Upon further probing on the issue of officialising‘pregnancy cases and why he would not take the initiative to confront such cases, he pointed out that this is due to fear of parents‘reaction to news of their daughter‘s pregnancy.
Depending on the prevailing religious and socio-cultural beliefs, parents are more likely to react negatively to news of their daughters‘pregnancy. This view was shared by two other teachers from the schools that took part in this research. 4. 3 Response of the Policy by the pupils Views of the girls who responded to the Questionnaires converged with those of the head teachers, teachers, and the parents. Both categories of girls interviewed stated that the policy was good and it was well responded to although it did not address most of their concerns.
When asked what their concerns were, adolescent schoolgirl mothers reported that the policy should have spelt out the need for providing counseling sessions to those who returned. They reported that while at school, they felt stigmatized by their friends and teachers through derogatory remarks such as addressing them by their children’s names: “Bana Mary (Mother of Mary), aunt Lucy etc” which made them feel out of place. It was the view of the pupils that the Ministry of Education was doing very little to enforce the implementation of the policy and ensure that girls who returned to school were protected from verbal abuse by the teachers.
At least 63% of the girls reported that they faced challenges with regard to combining the two roles of being a mother and a schoolgirl particularly when their children fell sick or needed to be taken to Under 5 clinics. They reported that they absented themselves from school and missed classes whenever they had to take their children to hospital. They further reported that the policy should have put in place mechanisms for following up those who for some reason decided not to return.
At the household level, three key factors prominently influence the likely-hood of young mothers returning to formal schooling. These factors are; fathers support over the decision to return to school, the structure of the house-hold, and finally the availability of financial support from either the young mother‘s children partners or the extended family. Evidently, household characteristics and behavior have a strong effect on the re-entry policy; more so parental and community willingness to support school re-entry for the young mothers, most of whom are jurally minors.
At another level, how the households interact with other institutions and the external socio-cultural environment that mediates these interactions @siamef Page 13 may affect the chances of schools re-entry. These factors have to be identified and understood by policy makers and programme managers if education for all including student-mothers is to be realized. 4. 4 The re-entry policy a success or failure FAWEZA has been successful in implementing programmes to achieve its objectives.
Among them are the programs designed to improve performance, progression and completion rates such as theScholarship program that has seen 2,426 girls and 1287 boys completing the 12 year cycle. Further,a total of 27 students completed tertiary education. Further, the SMT programmes have stimulated the interest of girls in participating in the activities and are performing well. In the quizzes held in SP2005-2009 there were more girls scoping prizes than boys. In program area two, FAWEZAcontinued to sensitize communities on the policies that protect girls’ education.
At school level the informants were asked if the policy guidelines were clear enough to provide them guidance for implementation, more than half (60%) of the informants, a majority of whom were teachers and headteachers (4), reported that because the policy was new, they needed to be oriented to it, before being asked to implement it. 4. 5 Do teachers and Parents support the re-entry Policy? In response to the support of the policy, (8) 80% of the parents who responded to the questionnaires were in favor of the policy.
Though, (2) 20% of the parents were not fully sure of the re-entry policy guidelines. Of the teachers who were against the policy, (3) 30% were men and (7) 70% were female who reported that they fully in support of the policy. Therefore, only male teachers have remained constant in opposition to the policy. Commenting on this, one girl said the male teachers and the boys who were still against the policy were afraid of facing the mothers of their children every day. A female teacher said men like to dominate. When they see an intelligent girl, they want to curtail her education.
They will do all in their power to frustrate her, including making her pregnant. Parents reported that the policy has made both boys and girls reckless. There was a feeling that the re-entry girls were in a vulnerable position because male teachers and schoolboys perceive them as having low morals. They come back with the sole purpose to study and pass their examinations.
Therefore, they become better students. There is fear among some groups e. g. the parents and the teachers that the policy has led to increased cases of pregnancy @siamef Page 14 among the school girls. The policy has been looked at as a lee way to immorality because the girls definitely know that they be returned to school.
4. 6 Support of the re-entry policy When informants were asked to state the kind of support they received from the ministry to implement the policy, the DEBs and the school level implementers reported that they had received funds neither to photo-copy the circular for the parents and/or the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) nor to conduct local sensitization meetings on the policy.
At the same time, the DEBs stated that the ministry was committed to ensuring that the policy gets fully implemented in all schools. Funds were planned to be set aside to conduct “massive sensitization meetings” and workshops targeted at school level and members of the public. FAWEZA organization on the other hand reported that they were planning to advocate and lobby members of parliament and some permanent secretaries to ensure that the re-entry policy be included in the Education Bill which was to be tabled in parliament in July 2010.
It is evident from this finding that the policy was introduced in schools before it was discussed and enacted in parliament. The finding echoes that of Hoppers (2007) in Uganda in which he described the decision by some policy actors to implement a draft version of the policy before it is submitted to parliament. Similarly, the re-entry policy in Zambia was first declared as a policy by the then minister of education before it was discussed in parliament. 4. 7 What measures can improve the re-entry policy Respondents were asked to give measures to improve the re-entry policy.
Their views were critically assessed and analyzed. In order to ensure that re-entry programmes are successful; the following measures were outlined by the respondents in implementing the policy: 4. 7. 1Political Will: The Zambian government did not capitulate, even when there appeared to be more voices against the policy, than those which support it. It maintained that expelling pregnant girls would make gender equality in the education system impossible. Hence, there is need to follow the political will of the nation @siamef Page 15 4. 7.
2 Guidelines: Availability of proper guidelines on how re-entry policy will be conducted is very essential. The guideline development should involve all stakeholders including the teen-mothers. The policy should be geared upon providing an opportunity for these girls to obtain another chance into the education programme and not to perpetuate immoral behavior. 4. 7. 3 Acceptance of Change: There is a need for community to change and accept that this program is for the benefit of the girls and the community at large. In Zambia after seeing the benefits of the program many families have accepted and supported their children.
4. 7. 4 Financial Support Not only to take over the financial responsibility for some of the most vulnerable girls. A little extra money to be given to the girls’ for other needs such as sanitary pads is essential. Some of the girls who have had children fall into this category and can benefit from the support, too. Girls who may have stayed away from school for financial reasons can continue with education. There is great awareness that there is a fear among people that re-entry of young mothers to school might influence others to immoral behavior knowing that they will also be readmitted if they get pregnancies.
But studies in the area have shown that there is no concrete evidence which reveal constructive societal returns from expelling pregnant schoolgirls and young mothers from education. However, parents, community and the government at large should provide life skills education for girls and boys to make them aware of effects of pregnancy and should be encouraged to be more responsible for building their future through education achievement 4. 7.
5 Strengthen rules regarding the policy. Regarding the strengthening of the rules, 45 (90%) of the informants reported that there was need to strengthen the rules. In Zambia, the policy guidelines states that once the girl has been given maternity leave, the father should also be suspended from school until the girl returns to school. If the teacher is the one responsible for the pregnancy, it states that the teacher should be disciplined.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 September 2016
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