Education for All in Madagascar keeps girls in school

Education for All in Madagascar keeps girls in school

Date: September 30, 2011
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The National Movement for Education for All in Madagascar (NMEAM) launched a campaign for positive discrimination in favour of girls in 2011. The campaign is promoting Article 14 of the SADC Gender Protocol which calls upon States Parties, by 2015 to enact laws that promote equal access to and retention in primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational and non-formal education in accordance with the Protocol on Education and Training and the Millennium Development Goals.

The campaign aims to sensitise parents, governments and citizens on the importance and benefits of ensuring that women and girls get a good education and encourage competition. This has been necessitated by the fact that Malagasy girls drop out of school quite early including the fact that parents prefer boys to go for further studies to prepare them for future roles as heads of family. This is especially so in rural areas where patriarchy remains rife. The campaign gives special attention to Analanjirofo, a rural based region that has a record of illiteracy with only 30% girls completing primary education and moving on to secondary education. In essence 70% of girls of school going age stop their studies after primary education.

Key targets are:

  • Girls – mechanisms are put in place to ensure that they complete primary school and proceed to secondary and tertiary education.
  • Parents – educated on the importance of keeping girls in school.
  • Government – lobbied to ensure the State puts in place resources and mechanisms to ensure that girls are kept in school up to tertiary education.

The several activities include:

  • Awarding of scholarships for girls and women.
  • Sensitisation campaigns of parents in localities.
  • Lobbying of political and other authorities to reinforce efforts in favour of education for girls and women. Emphasis was placed in Analanjirofo which is North East of Madagascar.
  • Debates and conferences.

The main result of this project is that 20,000 girls in Analanjirofo will receive scholarships to finish their studies. This ensures that girls are retained in the education system as stipulated in the SADC Gender Protocol. It is feasible to replicate this initiative in other SADC countries. Financial resources, campaign materials and a coordinated programme of action need to be in place.


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