Save the Children International, (SCI), one of lead international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Margibi County, has constructed a school building in Kakata, the Margibi capital.
SCI Education Project Manager, Augustine Kullie, is quoted as telling the Liberia News Agency (LINA) Margibi County correspondent, Richard Baysah, that “the Margibi All-Girls School,” built by SCI management, is intended to be used exclusively for teen mothers and girls in Margibi County.
According to Mr. Kullie, the Margibi All-Girls School was constructed under a program called, “Hope for Africa,” and is funded by Save the Children International of South Korea.
“Building of the school was also intended to increase girl’s access and improved quality of education for Liberian children, especially girls,” Mr. Kullie said.
He observed that there was a very serious issue when it came to girls’ education, due to gender disparity almost at all levels of the society, but mainly beginning with the primary school level.
The school building, which is located the main campus of the Kakata Rural Teachers Training Institute (KRTTI), was constructed at a cost over US$120.000, is built in accordance with the Ministry of Education (MOE) prescribed standard design of schools in Liberia.
The newly dedicated school comprises the primary annex, which runs from grade one to fourth grade, and the early childhood development block that is primarily targeting teen mothers whose excuse over the years had been that “there is nobody to take care of our child/children while they are in school.”
But with the construction of the Margibi All-Girls School, Mr. Kullie is of the opinion that both the boys and girls will take advantage by helping to significantly address the issue of educational disparity among them.
An educational survey shows the ratio of boys to girls is 50-50, but going beyond the primary level, the ratio of boys to girls indicates that the boys have the advantage to remain in school as compared to girls.
Continuing up to grade nine, Kullie said, there is a huge gap in disparity as three or at least five out of 15 girls sometimes remain in school until they complete the secondary education.
Quoting the global index survey on girl’s education in 2011 as reported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) there were 28 million children out of school particularly in sub-Sahara Africa and “more than 50 percent accounted for girls out of school children.”
In Liberia, he said, the same UNICEF report indicated that half a million children were out of school, and more than half of that number was again girls. This, he said, has become an increasing concern to SCI in addressing the huge disparity between boys and girls.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which calls for the reduction in gender disparity by 2005, did not materialize up to 2015, Kullie disclosed.