RET’s Efforts to Support Girls’ Education Paying Off
Breidjing – 16th February 2012. During his assessment mission in Chad in February 2012, the RET’s Chief of Operations, Guillaume Villard, visited the RET school in the Sudanese refugee camp of Bredjing to meet the community and the beneficiaries. Speaking to Grade 8 students (Grade 8 is the last year of the Sudanese primary school curriculum), he highlighted: “Today, as I stand before you, I am proud to see this classroom filled with students. This shows how important education is for the community. I am also very proud to see such a great number of girls – this is a huge success, not only for the community and the girl students, but also for the RET!”
Indeed, RET, considering education as an essential vehicle for protection, attaches great importance to the education of girls and young women, who often face particular vulnerabilities. At the launch of the RET’s programmes in Chad, in 2006, the number of girls attending classes was below 10%. It currently stands at 51.6%, which represents 1,330 girls out of a total of 2577 students.
This remarkable and very encouraging success was possible thanks to the constant efforts made by the RET and its education partners, to sensitise the communities in the camps. The Education Councils (formed of parents, teachers, principals of the schools and representatives of women), that have become real managers of the RET’s schools, play a major role in the inclusion of girls, especially girl mothers, in the school system. The Education Councils, created at the initiative of RET, are today an essential key player in monitoring and protecting the most vulnerable youth.
The RET has also supported young women in their educational effort, in providing them with articles to meet their basic needs (hygiene kits, clothes etc.), which, if they were not met, could hinder the access of female students to schools. In addition, to ensure an equal chance to face exams, some girls, who are forbidden to leave the house after nightfall, received electric lights in order to study at night, while their male classmates are gathering in lit centres to study.
Despite this success, the RET will not diminish its efforts, but will continue to multiply them to “ensure equitable and unrestricted access for girls to basic education of quality with the same chances of success (Objective 5, Dakar Framework of Action (2000)”