Free Bicycles Help Keep Indian Girls in School
In an effort to improve literacy and high school graduation rates among girls one of India’s poorest and least developed states, Bihar, is giving free bicycles to students who live long distances from school. The program, which launched in 2007, has seen great success and produced a remarkable increase in the number of girls registered in school. It has been especially helpful for girls living in remote villages who would otherwise have to drop out due to the long distance between home and their high school. In addition to the free bikes, the government of Bihar is also giving out free school uniforms. Authorities require students to maintain a 75 percent attendance record in order to earn the bike and uniform. Read more here.
Niger Children Miss School to Search for Water
Over 80 percent of the population in Niger does not have access to running water. As a result, most school-age children, particularly girls, are given the laborious burden of finding safe drinking water, which is a search that overrides just about everything else including their studies. In Zinder, one of Niger’s largest cities, things are especially bad following a short rainy season. Officials say a third to one-half of students have abandoned their classrooms. “It’s the water that is keeping them out of school,” said Salissou Sahirou, an education official in Baban Tapki. Read more here.
Literacy Program Thrives for Women in Morrocco
An accelerated literacy program targeting girls and women in remote villages throughout Morocco is changing lives. As part of the nation’s literacy campaign, the program requires students to complete 300 hours of basic reading, writing and numeracy classes. The girls are also given lessons in social and civil rights, development, environment and income-generating activities such as weaving, baking and beekeeping. Read more here.
Millions of Girls Still Lack Sanitary Pads in Kenya
More than 3 million girls in Kenya still don’t have access to sanitary pads. Beatrice Muta, the ambassador of the Saidia Dada Network Kenya, says it’s shocking that so many girls and women, especially those in remote villages, are still using old blankets, leaves or whatever is available during their menstrual period. Muta also said this remains one of the major contributing factors to the high drop out rate among girls. Read it all here.