In Niger, over one million primary-aged children have never had the chance to go to school and those lucky enough to attend school are not getting the standard of education they deserve. Despite their commitment, many teachers are not properly trained, and don’t have the resources they need to deliver engaging lessons. Girls miss out more than boys and are trapped in early marriages and a life of poverty. On average, girls only receive 1.2 years of schooling.
Oxfam worked to support a project in three of the poorest rural areas of Niger – providing teachers with professional training, supporting school committees, and helping to improve the quality of education delivered in local schools. The schools were equipped with stationary and teaching manuals and latrines were built, which provide privacy and makes attending school more appealing, especially to girls. New classrooms were built in four schools to replace the straw huts were pupils attended their lessons and reading groups were created.
The project also worked with community groups to discuss a range of issues from child marriage, to women’s rights, to the value of education – especially for girls.
In 2013, the 18 schools that were involved in the Oxfam project achieved record enrollment levels.
Both The Oxford Circle and The Circle member Vanessa Emilien have supported this project.