Strengthening Systems for GIRLS’ EDUCATION

Supporting girls to learn, complete secondary education and transition from school to further education or the world of work.

STAGES, Girls’ Education Challenge, UKAid, 2017-2024

STAGES (Supporting the Transition of Adolescent Girls Through Enhancing Systems) with funding from UKAid Girls’ Education Challenge aims to break down the barriers girls in rural Ethiopia face to complete their education with a particular focused on those most disadvantaged in education

Wolaita Zone is a remote and densely populated area in Southern Ethiopia Region. The school system struggles to deliver quality education, there is a critical shortage of secondary schools, and social barriers to educating girls persist.  Families prioritise the education of boys, and girls are expected to marry early and bear children, shouldering the burden of domestic chores in the household.  Inadequate sanitary protection for adolescent girls in home and school lead to erratic attendance and early drop-out.

Key facts

girls reached in schools reached by the project
boys’ benefit from system-wide and school improvements, and community support
vulnerable girls supported to attend, participate and learn
primary and secondary schools supported

Impact highlights (from 2021 and 2022 midline external evaluations)

  • At Midline-2, of the 61,784 girls enrolled, 36,382 are improved learners,
  • Improved literacy outcomes of girls in grades 6, 8 and 10, particularly in foundational early grade reading assessment tasks
  • Improvement in numeracy scores
  • Increased resilience and confidence for learning and transition with a 23% increase in self-esteem for girls in secondary school
  • Improved transition, and intention to complete secondary education: 90% of girls want to continue to senior secondary school
  • 97% of teachers reported improvements in lesson planning, using teaching aids and assessing students learning
  • Through scale-up of project interventions by zonal government, an additional 456 schools, 12,182 teachers, and 460,070 learners have been reached

More highlights can be found here


Strengthening school leadership for girls’ education

  • Professional development of school leaders on gender-sensitive, inclusive and learning – focused leadership  
  • Capacity strengthening of local government supervisors to supervise and support schools, and coach and mentor teachers
  • Strengthening performance data collection and analysis for inclusive and learning-focused school improvement planning

Improving teaching quality

  • Strengthening continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers on gender-sensitive and inclusive, child-centred pedagogy
  • Improving teachers’ competency in teaching foundational literacy (English and local language)
  • Improving teachers’ capacity to provide additional tutoring support to students with specific learning needs, or who have fallen behind in their studies

Engaging the community

  • Building the capacity of community/school structures including PTAs, School Improvement and Management Committees to play their role in supporting and managing the school
  • Embedding Mother and Father Groups in the school community to champion and support girls’ education
  • Developing systems in community and school to safeguard and protect all learners
  • Supporting gender clubs for girls and boys to challenge social norms which limit access and learning for girls and other disadvantaged children

Direct material support to girls

  • Provision of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) support to girls
  • Tutorial classes for girls who are struggling in the classroom
  • Providing basic needs to vulnerable girls such as learning materials, bursaries and sanitary protection, to support their attendance and transition

Access to secondary education

  • Construction of four secondary schools in remote areas
  • Upgrading toilets and sanitation rooms to provide a safe place for girls during menstruation.