NGO builds dorms to keep girls in school

Chil­dren re­main in school when par­ents mi­grate in search of pas­ture and wa­ter

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephenAs­tariko

An NGO in Garissa county has built dor­mi­to­ries in Hara and Kotile pri­mary schools, Ijara sub­county, to in­crease girls’ en­rol­ment.

Has­san Ali, Wom­ankind Kenya pro­gramme co­or­di­na­tor, child pro­tec­tion desk, said girls are now per­form­ing bet­ter aca­dem­i­cally be­cause they have am­ple time to at­tend preps and in­ter­act with teach­ers.

He said the com­mu­nity has em­braced the pro­gramme be­cause they feel the girls are safer in board­ing schools.

“The com­mu­nity at­ti­tude to­wards ed­u­ca­tion for girls has changed. They are even ask­ing the dor­mi­to­ries be en­larged so that more girls can be en­rolled,” Ali said.

He spoke at Kotile on Mon­day, after tour­ing the two pri­mary schools. Ali said the dor­mi­to­ries’ 60-girl ca­pac­ity is over­stretched and they are think­ing of en­larg­ing them.

“The se­cu­rity of the girls who used to walk long dis­tances, some up to 30km, has im­proved and the par­ents are con­tented. This is a suc­cess story they want repli­cated in re­mote schools,” Ali said.

Kotile Pri­mary head teacher Ab­dikuno Mur­sal said, “Be­fore the board­ing fa­cil­i­ties [were built], girls used to miss classes up to five days a month, but now ab­sen­teeism is a thing of the past. We are able to mon­i­tor their per­for­mance and give them ex­tra coach­ing where nec­es­sary.”

The girls re­main in school and con­cen­trate on their ed­u­ca­tion when their par­ents mi­grate in search of pas­ture and wa­ter for their an­i­mals dur­ing dry spells, he said.

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