We’re on a mission to to enroll 28,599 children in two districts in the Bale Zone.
Dry and arid, with acacia trees lining red earth and surrounding statuesque termite towers, Meda Welabu is a pastoralist district known for its extreme heat and wild summer rains. Its education indicators have been among the weakest in all of Ethiopia with primary school enrollment at just 46%, drop out rates at 22%, and approximately two thirds the number of girls attending school as compared to boys.
The nearby Dello Mena District is blessed with emerald green hills and rainbows on many days, but it’s education indicators were just as striking: only half of school age children enrolled, drop-out rates at 18% and only three girls for every four boys attending school.
In late 2013, we began a three-year project to transform the education system in these two districts: The Bale Zone Out of School Children Initiative. Working with 103 schools, we will enroll 28,599 children, decrease the drop out rate from 20% to 2% and increase the gender parity among students.
Our achievements to date
- Enrolled 27,113 children
- Reduced the drop out rate from 20% to 6%
- Increased gender equality, with 0.82 girls per boy
How we’re doing it
Through leadership development programs that we put on for Parent Teacher Associations, religious and political leaders, and women’s associations; girls, orphans and other vulnerable children who are often at risk of not going to school, will have an equal opportunity to others.
By constructing classrooms to serve Grades 5-8, children who would otherwise drop out of school after the 4th grade because the distance to reach Grade 5 is just too far, will now have the chance to continue learning in a brand new school near to their home.
Our early childhood education strategy will encourage parents to send their aspiring scholars to school at a young age, inspiring education as a household value and resulting in children starting primary school at the appropriate age.
Teacher professional development programs and improvements in the quality of school learning environments will bring achievement and attitude changes across the board, and will help reduce drop outs.
The best part of all, this project is being implemented through a funding partnership with Educate a Child, who have made a commitment to match every dollar you contribute. This is a great chance to double your impact.