NEPAD Equitable Education and Inclusive Growth
- Reference: P-Z1-IA0-012
- Appraisal Date: 17/06/2014
- Board Presentation: 29/10/2014
- Status: LendingLEND
- Implementing Agency: SINEPAD
- Location: Ghana, Nigeria, DRC and Mozambique
The project has three main components:
Component 1: Capacity Building for National Governments/Ministries for Education;
Component 2: Strengthening of Educational Institutions and Research Capability; and
Component 3: Project management.
Component 1: Capacity building for National Governments/Ministries of Education
The project will work with national governments and regional economic communities in taking affirmative and special measures to encourage female enrollment and retention in tertiary institutions; and to discourage gender discrimination in the workplace, while addressing cultural and religious objections to girls' education. Ministries of Education in the countries will be empowered and resourced so that they are upgraded to deliver on gender responsive education at all levels. The component will also strengthen the legal framework - Regional and District Education offices to be increasingly receptive to gender responsive education and the creation of rules and regulations that advances young women's education at the tertiary level. It will also provide for Gender responsive budgeting in education and inculcate improved accountability and management of school resources and finances to enhance management competencies of young women and youth through community sensitization workshops. Interventions by Ministries of Education will include provision non-formal education and literacy programmes. Under the social activites of the component, the project will provide business development skills training and seed money to graduates, especially females, who would like to undertake small enterprises. It will work with Non-Governmental organizations in the selected countries. Awareness raising on female participation in science and information technology will also be covered. The main outcome of the component will be a more gender sensitive policymaking process in the way education policy is developed and implemented as well as inclusion of women or women's organizations at decision-making levels in school management.
Component 2: Strengthening of Educational Institutions and Research Capability
The project will work with countries to undertake activities to improve retention of young women in tertiary institutions; promoting equal access to education and in science and technology. This aims at transforming the academic delivery including teaching methodologies, and management of academic processes to become gender responsive. In addition, school management systems, policies and practice will be reviewed to address the gender-based needs of youth. The component will also provide for the establishment of a Center of Excellence to undertake research on gender issues, learn from best practices of other development partners, and collect disaggregated data in identifying and correcting gender gap in education and business development for youth. The project will fund research activities that will provide up-to-date and fresh evidence based analysis for decision making on gender issues. The results of the research will be validated at local and national level then disseminated to a wider audience to facilitate experiences learning and information sharing.
Component 3: Project management
This component will provide for the project management expenses through capacity building for NEPAD staff to manage the project as well as recruit specific Technical Assistants for short term project implementation assignments. It will provide for the day today running of project activities and travel to the beneficiary countries for supervision and implementation assignment. It will also fund the strengthening of evaluation and monitoring systems in the countries and establish one in the NEPAD Secretariat.
The objectives of this project are to: a). Assist Ministries of education provide and promote gender equitable access to quality secondary and tertiary education and b). Increase the participation of young women in the design, implementation, and evaluation of education programs. This will be done through the effective use of science and information technology; building the capacity of women as teachers/lecturers, decision-makers, and leaders of civil society organizations towards gender equality in education; engaging the youth as supportive partners, and role models for gender equality; addressing social, economic and cultural determinants of education (e.g. harmful traditional practices and child marriage); ensuring access to education, economic empowerment and good governance.
Any national development strategy that emphasizes human development essentially begins with women's education. The proportion of women is high among the poor and illiterate persons, which hinders development process. Thus education is another important variable, which determines not only the economic status of women but also it is an important component of inclusive growth. Therefore, investing in education plays a key role in meeting the NEPAD Agency's social development objectives, which support inclusive growth. Education at all levels in Africa is a gendered terrain and gender disparities are more pronounced in higher education. According to the Global Monitoring Report (2010) there are 759 million illiterate adults, two-thirds of whom are women; 72 million children of primary school going age are out of school; and 1 million adolescents were out of school in 2010 - almost one in five of the total age group. Sex selectivity in education in favour of boys continues to exist in Africa despite significant improvements over recent years. This is a situation that needs to be addressed if the continent is to realize sustainable development and increased community wellbeing. In general, gender gaps in education and inclusive growth are gradually closing over time, but this occurs predominantly in developed countries, where there are close to 128 girls enrolled in tertiary education per 100 boys. In developing countries and those in transition the situation is different. Girls remain at a serious disadvantage in sub-Saharan Africa, with just 68 enrolled per 100 boys in 2010. Evidently, there is a systematic bottleneck, based on gender, which needs to be understood and addressed because gender equality in education is the key to employment for youth, inclusive growth and sustainable development.
The NEEIG Initiative is aligned with the objectives of the African Union's 2nd Decade of Education for Africa Action Plan 2006-2015 and the Millennium Development Goals. In implementing the Initiative, the NEPAD Agency will be building on its past and current work, as well as the work of other stakeholders in education in Africa. Over the long term, improving the education of males and females in the tertiary sector and increased female participation in science and information technology will enhance productivity and inclusive growth, as well as the social and economic development of communities and nations. The Initiative will be implemented as a pilot programme for 3 (three) years. Four countries have been selected from three Regional Economic Communities to participate in the NEEIG initiative. The countries are Nigeria and Ghana (ECOWAS Region); Democratic Republic of Congo (ECAS); and Mozambique (SADC).
The NEPAD Agency has been at the forefront of promoting education and training, and science and information technology on the one hand, and women's empowerment and gender equality on the other as part of the Agency's priority themes. The Agency is now merging the two thematic areas of education and gender, in recognition that equality in access to education, training and science and information technology, is a cornerstone of inclusive growth and will have positive impact on poverty reduction and sustainable development on the continent. The NEPAD Agency's commitment to equality in education is also reflected in the adoption of the 2nd Decade of Education for Africa which states that NEPAD "will promote gender equality by ensuring that all education development plans include plans for achieving gender equality." The NEEIG will work with Ministries of Education to promote gender inclusive policy planning and budgeting in education, as well as reduce the overt signs of gender inequalities.
NEEIG follows the conceptualization that if women's empowerment through inclusive education is to be the way forward then this indicates a responsibility to ensure that girls and women in general and those women groups that are statistically most at risk are carefully monitored to ensure the achievement of national educational goals. The focus of NEEIG, therefore, is to reach the 'Hardest to Reach' girls. The Initiative is founded on the principles and values of providing education of a comparable quality to all children in an equitable manner irrespective of their creed, language, gender, economic or ethnic background, location or disability (physical or mental).
The overarching goal of the NEEIG is to support African countries in reaping the benefits of gender equality in education and experiencing inclusive growth. Education is universally acknowledged to benefit individuals and promote national development. Educating young women, at the tertiary level especially in gaining access to science and information technology produces many additional socioeconomic gains that benefit entire societies as follows:
"Increase in young women's enrollment at the tertiary level is associated with increase in women's participation in the labor force and their contributions to household and national income; "Women's increased earning capacity, in turn, has a positive effect on child nutrition. Children, especially daughters, of educated mothers are more likely to be enrolled in school and to have higher levels of educational attainment; "Education helps women take advantage of opportunities that could benefit them and their families, preparing women for the labor force and helping them understand their legal and reproductive rights; "Education is the single most important determinant of both age at marriage and age at first birth in African countries, since women in the region tend to give birth soon after marriage; and "Educated women make better use of reproductive health and family planning information and services in achieving their desired family size.
The NEEIG will work with Ministries of Education to promote gender inclusive policy planning and budgeting in education, as well as reduce the overt signs of gender inequalities. It will involve female teachers/lecturers in playing a pivotal role to improve the quality of Education. The empowerment of girls and young women is another component targeted at enabling girls to speak out, have self-confidence, to be assertive to participate in science and information technology subjects, and to have the right skills for negotiation and decision-making. The boys will also be trained to practice and foster gender equality and treat the girls as their equals. The Initiative will also address the management of specific needs of young men and women at the tertiary level. The NEPAD Agency will work with stakeholders and partner countries to mainstream gender in educational policies and programmes, a goal with an intrinsic merit that is fundamental to long-term socio-economic progress.
KUNENE Benedict Vusi Boy - OSHD2