Gender Equity in Junior and Senior Secondary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Gender Equity in Junior and Senior Secondary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

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This thematic study consists of case studies of Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda, as well as, a review of studies undertaken over the past ten years on education in Africa with particular attention to girls' and secondary education. Gender equity at the primary level has been the focus of considerable attention within the Education for All Framework of Action, but much less so at the secondary level. Evidence of gender inequity and inequality in terms of access, retention and performance in secondary education in SSA raises many questions. While transition rates from primary to secondary are higher for girls than boys, and the repetition rates are lower, girls still significantly trail behind boys in graduation and enrollment rates. The purpose of this study is to document and analyze the extent and nature of gender disadvantage in junior and senior secondary education, to analyze the causes of this disadvantage, and to identify strategies that may be effective in reducing or eliminating it.
This study was prepared as part of the Secondary Education and Training in Africa (SEIA) initiative which aims to assist countries to develop sustainable strategies for expansion and quality improvements in secondary education and training. All SEIA products are available on its website: www.worldbank.org/afr/seia.

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Publié par
Publié le 03 juillet 2008
Nombre de lectures 26
EAN13 9780821375051
Langue English

WORLD BANK WORKING PAPER NO. 1

AFRICA HUMAN DEVELOPMENT S

Gender Equity in Junior and

Senior Secondary Education in

Sub-Saharan Africa

THE WORLD BANK

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WORLD BANK WORKING PAPER NO. 140

Gender Equity in Junior and
Senior Secondary Education
in Sub-Saharan Africa

Esi Sutherland-Addy

Africa Region Human Development Department

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Contents

Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
vii

Acknowledgments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ix

Abbreviations and Acronyms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
xi

Executive Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
xiii

Résumé Analytique. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
xix

Introduction
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1
Objectives ofthe Study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1
Scope and Content. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1
Constraints ofthe Study. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
The Global and Regional Context. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
The Essence ofAdolescence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4

1.Participation in Secondary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa:
The Global Picture
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7
EFA and Secondary Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
7
Definition ofTerms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
Gender Equity and Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8
Secondary Education in SSA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9
Primary Completion and the Transition to Lower Secondary Education. . . . . . . .
10
Gender Disparity in Secondary Education:A Widening Gap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11

2.Factors Affecting the Participation ofGirls in Secondary Education
. . . . . . . . . .
21
Economic Policies,Growth,and Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
21
Equity,Financial Measures,and Good Governance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
23
Making Girls’Schooling Affordable:The Impact ofFees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
25
The Bottleneck Effect. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
26
The School Environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
27
Sociocultural Barriers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
31
Violence against Girls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
35
The Unreached. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
36
Summary ofFactors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
36
iii

iv
Contents

3.Promotion ofFemale Participation in Secondary Education
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
37
Two Policy Challenges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
37
State Policy and the Promotion ofFemale Participation in
Secondary Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
40

4.Institutions Addressing the Issue ofSecondary Education
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
47
CAMFED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
47
The Role ofCivil Society:The FAWE Approach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
49
FAWE Centres ofExcellence:Making the Case for the Holistic Approach. . . . . . . .
50
Challenges ofthe COE Concept. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
54

5.Concluding Observations
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
57
Quality Factor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
57
Importance ofIntersectoral Approaches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
57
Involvement ofStudents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
58
Expanding Opportunities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
58
Taking Best Practices to Scale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
59

References
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
61

L
ISTOF
T
ABLES
1.GER at Junior Secondary School Level in Senegal,2000. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11
2.Trends in Basic or Proxy Indicators to Measure EFA Goals 4 and 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12
3.Share ofChildren 15–19 Who Have Completed Primary School,
by Gender (percent). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
18
4.General Performance in Mathematics in Tanzania,2000. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
28
5.Subject Enrollment for the Malawi Secondary School Leaving
Examination,by Gender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
28
6.Reasons for the Low Participation ofGirls in Science,Maths,and Technological
Subjects in Ghana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
29
7.National Open Apprenticeship Scheme,Edo State,Nigeria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
30
8.Manazini Industrial Training Center Enrollment,1990/91,Swaziland. . . . . . . . . . .
30
9.Final Baccalauréate (Senior High School) Results in TVE in
Burkina Faso (1992). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
32
10.Details ofPerformance by Subject Area—High School Results in TVE in
Burkina Faso (1992). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
33
11.Factors Affecting Disparities in Secondary Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
35
12.A Summary ofObstacles and Possible Strategies for Overcoming Them. . . . . . . . .
38

oCtnnestv

13.A National Vision for Girls’Education in Ghana:Gender Targets Set by the
Girls’Education Unit,2001. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
40
14.Female Participation Rates at Various Level ofEducation:
1998/90–2000/01. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
42
15.MOE/GEU Interventions in Girls’Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
43
16.Gender Activities by Development Partners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
44
17.FAWE Pilot Centres ofExcellence at a Glance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
53
18.Costs ofthe Centres ofExcellence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
55

XOSEL
ISTOF
B
1.Summary ofFactors Affecting Disparities in Secondary Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
xv
2.EFA and MDG Goals Related to Secondary Education for Girls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3

Foreword

any African countries are undertaking important economic reforms,improving
M
macroeconomic management,liberalizing markets and trade,and widening the
space for private sector activity.Where such reforms have been sustained they have raised
growth and incomes,and reduced poverty.However,Africa still faces serious development
challenges where education,health,and social development are concerned.The World
Bank has acknowledged and incorporated this understanding within its Africa Action Plan
(AAP) by underscoring the fundamental importance ofexpanding not only primary but
also secondary and higher education,and linking it to a range ofemployment options for
the African youth.
United Nations and World Bank progress reports on achieving the Millennium Devel-
opment Goals attest to a renewed commitment in Africa to defeat poverty and disease.The
Education for All-Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI) involves more than 30 bilateral and inter-
national agencies and has gradually made important strides.In the coming years,the key
challenges are to continue the efforts toward achieving universal primary education,to
expand secondary school access in response to demands from growing African economies,
and to improve quality,relevance,and equity oflearning across the board.
Education plays an important role in promoting economic growth and social progress.
Secondary education and training,in particular,is one ofthe key factors for increased eco-
nomic growth and social development.Its graduates enter labor markets that increasingly
demand “modern knowledge and skills,readiness to take initiatives,and ability to solve
problems.”Asia and Latin America have shown these trends convincingly.Secondary edu-
cation is also indispensable for young people to become productive citizens and to lead
healthy lives.Expanding access while simultaneously improving quality in post-primary
education will force African countries to make education service delivery more efficient
and to apply “innovative best practices,”such as forging public-private partnerships,and
exploring alternative structures and modes ofdelivery.
The Africa Region’s Human Development strategy is anchored in its Africa Action
Plan.The study ofSecondary Education and Training in Africa (SEIA) is an initiative of
the Africa Human Development Department (AFTHD) and is led by Jacob Bregman (Lead
Education Specialist).The SEIA program aims to assist countries to develop sustainable
strategies for expansion and quality improvements in secondary education and training.
In cooperation with education teams from African countries and international institutions
the SEIA program produced eight thematic studies (during 2003–06) and a final Synthesis
Report in 2007.The SEIA program study results were discussed at three regional SEIA con-
ferences (Uganda in 2003,Senegal in 2005,and Ghana in 2007),in which over 35 countries
participated.All SEIA products are available on its website:www.worldbank.org/afr/seia.
This thematic study is about gender equity in junior and senior secondary education
in Sub-Saharan Africa.It consists ofcase studies ofGhana,Malawi and Uganda,as well as,
a review ofstudies undertaken over the past ten years on education in Africa with partic-
ular attention to girls’and secondary education.Gender equity at the primary level has
been the focus ofconsiderable attention within the Education for All Framework ofAction,
but much less so at the secondary level.Evidence ofgender inequity and inequality in terms
ofaccess,retention and performance in secondary education in SSA raises many questions.
iiv

iiiv

FroeowdrWhile transition rates from primary to secondary are higher for girls than boys,and the
repetition rates are lower,girls still significantly trail behind boys in terms ofsecondary
GER.The purpose ofthis study is to document and analyze the extent and nature ofgen-
der disadvantage in junior and senior secondary education,to analyze the causes ofthis
disadvantage and to identify strategies that may be effective in reducing or eliminating it.
I hope that this thematic study will make a timely and useful contribution to the debate on
SEIA issues.

Jacob Bregman
Lead Education Specialist and SEIA Task Team Leader
Africa Region Human Development
The World Bank

Acknowledgments

his SEIA Thematic Study is about gender equity in junior and senior secondary edu-
T
cation in Sub-Saharan Africa and is based on the work ofmany.This paper was com-
missioned as part ofthe eight SEIA Thematic Studies by the Human Development
Department ofthe Africa Region (AFTHD) ofthe World Bank.This report was proposed
by the participating country team representatives during the 2nd SEIA Regional Confer-
ence,held in Dakar,Senegal in June 2005.The work was contracted out to the Forum for
African Women Educationalists (FAWE) http://www.fawe.org/home/index.asp.
The author wishes to acknowledge the immense and invaluable work done by Amina
Osman particularly in researching current information which has contributed to the
breadth and pertinence ofour analysis.She also participated in the writing ofsignificant
portions ofthis report for which I am very grateful.
The author also wishes to also thank most sincerely Leslie Casely-Hayford and Jerome
Djangmah for readily sharing documentation and insights on the topic under review and
in particular,their own work on the Ghana situation.
The author is also grateful to Marema Dioum,Program Officer at FAWE Headquar-
ters,for facilitating this project.My gratitude also goes to the documentalist in charge of
the FAWE Documentation Centre and Lucy Wairi both ofthe FAWE Headquarters in
Nairobi for their kind and efficient support as well as Ekow Arthur-Entsua ofthe Institute
ofAfrican Studies,University ofGhana.
The various drafts ofthis thematic study were discussed with the SEIA team ofthe
Africa region in the World Bank.Preliminary conclusions,the methodology,and the over-
all objectives ofthis thematic Gender study on Secondary Education were presented at the
3rd SEIA regional conference in Accra,Ghana,in April 2007.Comments from Sub-Sahara
country representatives were incorporated in the final version ofthe report.
Adriaan Verspoor (Senior Education Consultant,Africa Region,World Bank) and
Jacob Bregman (SEIA Task Team Leader and Lead Education Specialist,Africa Region,
World Bank) provided extensive feedback and comments on earlier drafts as the study pro-
gressed.This report can also be found on the SEIA website at www.worldbank.org/afr/seia.

xi