How to reduce young girls’ school dropouts in Cameroon?
Nowadays, several socio-cultural facts such as early marriages, rapes, harassment and various abuses are factors in girls dropping out of school. Despite the efforts of governments, too many young girls remain deprived of an education. Mrs Nformi Jocelyn who is an Education activist and a teacher at Government High School Mendong tells us how to reduce school drop outs in young girls in Cameroon.
There are numerous ways to begin providing solutions to the obstacles of school drop outs of girls in Cameroon. To start, Scholarships is a key way to encourage girls o remain at school as the cost burden is lifted from the family. Donations of textbooks, stationery, uniforms, shoes, bags, etc to remove these additional costs from the family will be a high motivation for girls to go to school. UNICEF offers an example of a “girl to girl” strategy used in Madagascar whereby teachers identify first grade girls who appear to be at risk of dropping out of school and pair these girls with “big sisters” from the fourth and fifth grades. These girls sign pledges to help their “little sisters” These goes a long way to reduce young girls dropping out from schools.
Sensitizing young girls on the dangers of unwanted pregnancies and various types of contraception is a major way to reduce school dropouts in girls. Teaching girls about the ills of early pregnancies, early marriages about birth control and providing girls with babies care facilities that still enable them to continue being educated will reduce school dropouts. If girls are aware of these predicaments, precautions will be taken and girls school dropout will reduce drastically.
Sensitizing families and boys on the importance of educating girls will reduce school dropout in young girls. Teaching boys and the family at large the importance of education for their sisters, daughters, female friends and women; demonstrating the ways in which this will improve community life for everybody. Parents especially those whose culture limits the education of the girl child should be massively sensitized so that these parents can see the importance of sending the girl child to school.
Also, providing additional programs addressing basic skills gaps such as reading, calculating and writing will reduce school dropouts of the girl child. More programs to enhance reading and writing for girls in a school milieu will reduce school dropouts in girls. This is in a bit to get girls get more interested in education programs so that they will see no reason to drop out.
Finally, providing all valuable facilities that can make the teaching-learning environment conducive will reduce school dropouts in girls. Facilities such as adapted latrines for girls, health care facilities to care for first aid issues in school, refectory for good food supply and all sanitation items to ensure cleanliness in the school environment. If all these are put into practice, there will be a significant reduction in the school dropouts of girls in Cameroon.
Written by Che Engochan with the expertise knowledge of Nformi Jocelyn, Education Activist and Teacher at G.H.S Mendong.