Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) has unveiled a new girls’ education programme aimed at enabling thousands of girls to complete primary and secondary school in Malawi.
The programme, Keeping Girls in School (KGIS), will tackle several factors that force girls to drop out of school. The factors include early marriage and pregnancy, violence against girls, poverty and the lack of girl-friendly sanitation facilities in schools.
The KGIS programme worth K22.5 billion (about $62.5 million) is the biggest single investment to date in girls’ education in Malawi, according to a statement made available to The Nation.
DfID says the four-year programme will provide a minimum of 15 000 girls with bursaries, construct 300 latrine blocks and sanitation facilities in community day secondary schools, provide cash transfers to up to 200 000 girls and raise the profile of girls’ education through high level advocacy and public engagement.
DfID programme manager Andrew Massa said the KGIS programme will also increase the participation of women in girls’ education by training up to 20 000 female teachers with skills to effectively mentor girls and train 3 000 Mother Groups to provide counselling support to girls.
Head of DfID Malawi, Sarah Sanyahumbi, said the UK has committed to putting girls and women at the heart of its development assistance and is proud to launch the Keeping Girls in School programme which will help more girls get through school and get a decent education.
She said: “Women and girls suffer most from poverty and investing in them through education means they will get married later, have fewer children, make healthier life choices and increase their potential of finding employment after school.”
KGIS scales up an essential set of interventions that promote girls’ education but which until now have been too small to make a significant difference.