Girls Education in Dadaab

Topics: School, Primary education, High school Pages: 13 (3996 words) Published: June 14, 2013
The main purpose of the study was to investigate and establish the factors affecting refugee girls' access to primary education in the Dadaab refugee camps of Garissa District in the Northeastern Province of Kenya. This study has significance within the tenets of the

Convention on the Rights of the Child due to the fact that primary education is considered as a basic right and a tool for protecting refugee populations. In this study, the descriptive design was used to enable the researcher collect information concernin

g factors affecting refugee girls' access to primary
education. Since most of the data obtained from FGDs, individual in depth interviews were heavily qualitative, thematic analysis technique was used in data analysis. Results of the analysis are presented

as summaries under a number of
thematic areas to compare the attitudes and opinions of respondents related to factors affecting refugee girls' access to primary education. Study findings show that, high poverty levels, parental disinterest in schooling, d omestic work, early

marriages and mature girl withdrawal, refugee pastoral/nomadic background, parental discrimination and ignorance, and family sizes are the main out -
of
-
school factors that directly affect refugee girls' access to primary education. In
adequate school infrastructure resulting in over crowding, cost -
sharing in
primary education, distance from home to school, lack of adequate girl friendly facilities and in
-
school discrimination of children with special needs are the main in
-
school factor
s with the most profound impact on girls' access to primary school education. The
key recommendations of the study revealed the need for parental proactive participation in education activities, community
mobilization
a
nd
sensitization to send more girls to
schools, reducing education costs, recruitment of
more female teachers, provision of teachers(primary and special teachers) and training them as required, developing relevant education policy, infrastructural development(classrooms, desks, sanitary facili

ties), construction of boarding
schools for girls, compulsory primary education and promoting parents literacy and numeracy skills

The Dadaab refugee camps are located in Kenya's remote Northeastern province, 50 miles from the border with Somalia. Since 1991, the annual population of Dadaab has fluctuated between 160,000 and 280,000, largely Somali, refugees. Conditions are harsh in Dadaab. Daytime temperatures do not fall below 90 degrees Fahrenheit and, during the summer season, are often above 115. Annual rains bring disastrous floods. Unless granted resettlement to a Western country, it is illegal for refugees to leave the encampment zone. As a result of the weather, poor nutrition and sanitation, inadequate healthcare, and immobility, disease is a way of life. With little hope for peace on the horizon in Somalia, an entire generation of nation-less Somali youth has been raised in the under resourced camps where inhabitants rely entirely on donations to provide food, water, medical care, and education.

Remarkably, in the midst of such a difficult situation, thousands of students have excelled in school. Dadaab schools currently enroll about 40,000 students. Even more significantly, however, many of these intrepid students are girls, who overcome tremendous environmental and cultural barriers to attend school. They are usually the first females in their families to do so. Girls' Schooling in Dadaab:

The United Nations identifies education as a universal human right in its 1948 declaration. Accordingly, in its efforts to manage refugee crises, the UNHCR and its implementing partners provide educational opportunities alongside emergency shelter, food, water and sanitation facilities, and medical care. In line with this policy, the Dadaab refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya currently feature a school system enrolling 39,550...
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