Championing Girls’ Education

Helping some of Ethiopia’s poorest and most vulnerable girls transition from primary to secondary school.

STAGES (Supporting the Transition of Adolescent Girls Through Enhancing Systems) aims to break down the barriers girls in rural Ethiopia face to completing their education.

Key facts

girls enrolled in schools reached by the project
primary and secondary schools involved across Wolaita zone
teachers trained during 2018-2019
community members participating in school performance appraisal meetings

Wolaita Zone is a remote and densely populated area in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) in the south of Ethiopia. The school system struggles to deliver quality education and support, and there is a critical shortage of secondary schools.

Boys’ learning is prioritised and girls encounter discrimination and competing challenges from early in their lives such as domestic burdens, inadequate sanitary protection, early marriage and childbearing.

How we are making a difference

Working in partnership with government, schools and communities, STAGES is helping girls stay in school, receive a quality education and escape the cycle of poverty. Halfway through the project, we are already seeing some great results.

increase in girls’ confidence and agency
Over 90%
increase in teachers reporting improvements in safeguarding
of girls now say they feel confident to answer questions in class and want to keep studying
of teachers now report that school leaders are responsive to girls’ needs

Our activities include:

Strengthening school leadership for girls’ education

  • Training on instructional leadership for school leaders
  • Developing capacity of local government supervisors to monitor, supervise and support schools
  • Supporting government to collect school improvement data for analysis, sharing and action planning

Improving teaching quality

  • Training teachers on literacy, numeracy, inclusive and child-centred methodologies
  • Providing follow-up coaching and mentoring support to teachers trained

Access to secondary education

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

Direct support to girls

  • Boosting girls’ confidence and self-esteem through social, emotional and life skills education
  • Providing basic needs to vulnerable girls such as bursaries and sanitary protection

Engaging the community

  • Encouraging the community to support school improvement and improve accountability

[counselling has] considerably strengthened me to keep moving forward

Female learner