Girl’s education: Challenges to overcome [Archives:2007/1019/Local News]

January 25 2007

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
SANA'A, Jan. 21 ) Ministry of Education, in collaboration with UNICEF and ADRA Organization, have recently launched a report about girl's educational situation. The study aims to recognize the core issues that widen the gap in girls education within primary schools and also specify the gap between enrollment of girls and boys in the primary education.

Three specialists from the Minsitry of Education conducted the study under Raufa Hassan. The three specialists are Tawfiq Al-Mikhlafi, from Research and Education Development Center, Hamoud Naji, general manager of planning and statistics, and Aman Al-Badani, from girl's education administration.

The study focused on the constant existence of the gap between boys and girls education especially in rural areas where the problem widens. It also diagnosed the different social and cultural factors which stand before enhancing girl's education.

Moreover, the study dealt with the government strategies and policies and special programs adopted to develop girl's education together with the treaties and agreements Yemen signed.

The Yemeni government has exerted great effort over the past decade, but the study declared girl's education has not reached the desired level, partly due to the rapid increase of Yemen's population. The total percentage of girls not in schools reached 46 percent, but it rises to 71 percent in the countryside. Population is rising by 3.2 percent annually and over 70 percent off the population lives in the countryside.

The uneven spread of illiteracy is another problem. Now, 76 percent of females are illiterate, in comparison to 27 percent among males. The study also revealed Yemen is among countries with the highest percentage of family support reaching due to the increase of fertility rates and large size of a Yemeni family which lead to more poverty.

Local society's role was not absent as the study emphasized its role in upgrading and creating a suitable environment for girl's education.

To develop and widen education, the study came up with a number of recommendations for improving the laws related to girl's education together with raising the awareness among both sexes of the necessity of educating girls.

The study's recommendations included reconsidering the existing employment standards and giving females an equal chance for employment.

Further, the study stressed the importance of the wise selection of a school site to be very close from public gatherings. It also assured that female employees should join the curriculum development team, there should be help for poor families in urban areas and a decrease in education fees. These problems all lead to girls dropping out of schools.