Awareness Campaign to Prevent School Dropout
The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000, committed world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. The MDGs aimed to achieve universal primary education as one of its 8 goals that all 189 UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. With the realization of the benefits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), many governments globally have made a commitment to expand educational opportunities for children. This was also in response to international conventions which recognize education as a necessity and a fundamental human right. The major drawback in attaining Education For All (EFA) the global movement led by UNESCO (United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), aiming to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015 along with the Vision 2030 is the rising cases of school drop-out.
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in September 2015 officially came into force. The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further, it in that regard, among the SDGs goals include the Quality Education.
So, the quality education will be possible while we still have an issue of some children who dropped out the school? In Rwanda, a lot of money is spent by the Government in providing free primary education. But it appears that a substantial amount of this expenditure is spent on those who drop out of school. This is wastage of the scarce national resources because the drop-outs do not acquire the knowledge and skills expected of them.
It’s in this regards the Children’s Voice Today (CVT) accepted to work closely with the Akilah Institute in its project called “Social Change in Leadership”, where Akilah Institute helps its students to implement the leadership skills they learn theoretically in their studies in order to serve Rwandan community to overcome different issues that affect them. The Akilah Institute make this project possible through the partnership with existing expert institutions/organization already operating in the community to make change on various issues, in this respect the group of five girls who were students of the Akilah institute in the Information System including “Aline Kayiganwa; Emmerance Ishimwe; Ida Berthe Juru; Mignone Unguyeneza; and Josiane Ntakarutimana” implemented a project aimed at fighting school dropout.
Today: @cvtrwanda in community outreach to fight against school drop out in @Nyarugenge district, Nyakabanda and Kigali Sector. It was an opportunity to share with children from CVT grassroots groups on how to respond and prevent school dropout. @CityofKigali @AkilahInstitute pic.twitter.com/JPc9HkSmwD
— Children’s Voice Today (@cvtrwanda) March 16, 2019
This group implemented that project in the City of Kigali, Nyarugenge district, in two sectors including Nyakabanda and Kigali sector in the partnership with Children’s Voice Today (CVT) which supported that group of five Akilah Institute students to reach the community in order address the issue of the school dropout from grassroots level by identifying the root cause, preventive and responding measures of the school dropout in Nyarugenge district.
For this reason, there was a need to identify the causes of pupil drop-outs in primary and secondary schools in Rwanda.
This joint campaign conducted by Children’s Voice Today (CVT) with the Akilah institute through five finalists girls from the Akilah institute in the Information System program in March 2019 had the following objectives:
- To determine the causes pupils’ dropout rate by gender in school in Nyarugenge District.
- To determine strategies of reducing the dropout of school pupils Nyarugenge District.
The following were identified as main reasons for boys and girls dropping out:
|Reasons for Boys Dropping Out||Reasons for Girls Dropping Out|
|Influence from peers||Influence from peers|
|Poor parental care||Poor parental care|
|Too old for class||Too old for class|
|To work||To work|
|Lack of motivation||Lack of motivation|
|Claimed school too strict||Claimed school too strict|
|Instability at home||Instability at home|
|Lack of money for uniform||Lack of money for uniform|
|Death of parents||Death of parents|
|Poor performance||Poor performance|
|Harsh teachers||Harsh teachers|
|Use of drugs||Pregnancy|
For responding and preventing the school dropout, children were asked what they thought could be done to address this issue and the following are their responses:
- Parents needed to be sensitized on the rights of children and on the importance of educating their children.
- Administration including local leaders should be involved in ensuring that those who dropped out were taken back to school and also, they have to put much efforts in addressing issues of conflicts among some families, drug use among children and youth, teen pregnancy and child labor as main causes of dropout in their community.
- Train teachers to create conducive teaching and learning environments in schools, here children highlighted that their teachers need to change their teaching practices where they said that teachers need stop using of physical and humiliating punishment in the classroom.
- Children in their grassroots groups should keep encourage their peers who dropped out to back to school.