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

61,345
girls enrolled in schools reached by the project
144
primary and secondary schools involved across Wolaita zone
>2,800
teachers trained during 2018-2019
13,000
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.

75%
of girls surveyed at the start of the project agreed that their teachers treat girls and boys differently in the classroom
34%
of girls tracked at the start of the project did not progress to the next grade level
22%
of project girls come from households with low levels of encouragement and financial support for their education
<1%
of Grade 8 girls at the start of the project showed proficiency in answering subtraction problems

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.

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

Intended impacts of our work

Girls will be better equipped and ready to learn thanks to improved school leadership and supervision, increased community and parental involvement in school planning, better quality teaching, and higher self-esteem and confidence.

They will complete their education with the knowledge and life skills to make their own choices and move forward to further education or sustainable livelihoods.

Schools will be transformed into safe and inclusive spaces where all girls (and boys) can learn free from harm. And communities will have the tools to hold schools accountable for providing a quality education for all children.

Our lives have changed. We are participating and competing with boys in class and elsewhere.

Senior girl in Ethiopia on the impact of Link’s previous girls’ education project